Government Legal Department

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Government Legal Department
Welsh: Adran Gyfreithiwr y Trysorlys
Government Legal Department.png
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Non-ministerial government department overview
Formed 1876 (1876)
Jurisdiction United Kingdom
Headquarters 1 Kemble Street, London, WC2B 4TS
Employees 1,070
Annual budget £114.7 million (2009-2010) [1]
Ministers responsible
Non-ministerial government department executive
  • Jonathan Jones, HM Procurator General, Treasury Solicitor and Chief Executive

The Government Legal Department (previously called the Treasury Solicitor's Department until 2015) is the largest in-house legal organisation in the United Kingdom's Government Legal Service.

The Department is headed by the Treasury Solicitor. This office goes back several centuries. The office was enshrined in law by the Treasury Solicitor Act 1876, which established the Treasury Solicitor as a corporation sole (an office with perpetual succession).[2] Employees of the department exercise legal powers which are vested in the corporation sole.

The department is a non-ministerial government department and executive agency.[3] The Treasury Solicitor reports to the Attorney General for England and Wales. The department employs more than six hundred solicitors and barristers to provide advice and legal representation on a huge range of issues to many government departments.


The Department was historically known as the Treasury Solicitor's Department, but changed name to the Government Legal Department on 1 April 2015. The new name reflects a "significant period of change", which saw the department double in size to 2,000 staff.[4]

The head of the department combines the ancient office of Queen's Proctor (or King's Proctor) with that of Treasury Solicitor. He has the formal title of Her Majesty's Procurator General and Treasury Solicitor. Currently, the office is held by Jonathan Jones. He is also the Chief Executive of the department as an executive agency.[5]


The department is the authorised address for service of proceedings on most government departments, by virtue of the list published under the Crown Proceedings Act 1947.

In England (with the exception of Lancashire, Manchester and Cornwall, where the function is delegated to Farrer & Co), the Treasury Solicitor is the Crown's nominee for the collection and disposition of ownerless property (bona vacantia).[6] This typically comprises the assets of dissolved companies and the estates of persons who die intestate and with no known kin.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ HM Procurator General and Treasury Solicitor Resource Accounts 2009-2010 (PDF), HM Procurator General and Treasury Solicitor, 30 June 2010, archived from the original (PDF) on 26 July 2011, retrieved 19 December 2010
  2. ^ "Our history". Treasury Solicitor's Department. 2013. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  3. ^ "Treasury Solicitor's Department". GOV.UK. 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  4. ^ "Treasury Solicitor's Department announces name change". Website of the Government of the United Kingdom. 18 February 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  5. ^ "New Permanent Secretary for the Treasury Solicitor's Department - Press releases". GOV.UK. 2014-02-21. Retrieved 2016-07-19.
  6. ^ "About TSol". Treasury Solicitor's Department. 2013. Archived from the original on 8 September 2013. Retrieved 17 September 2013.

External links[edit]