What we do

The Office of the Parliamentary Counsel is a group of government lawyers who specialise in drafting legislation. We work closely with departments to translate policy into clear, effective and readable law. Our role will often begin when legislation is first being considered and we will remain involved throughout the Parliamentary process and beyond.

Responsibilities

We are responsible for:

  • drafting all government bills
  • advising departments on the rules and procedures of Parliament
  • reviewing orders and regulations which amend Acts of Parliament
  • assisting government on a range of legal and constitutional issues

Priorities

Our priorities are:

  • to help the government to prepare and take through Parliament its programme of legislation
  • to provide leadership and training for drafters throughout government
  • to work with colleagues within and outside government to promote good law
  • to build links with universities, the judiciary and others

Who we are

We are headed by Richard Heaton, who is First Parliamentary Counsel and also Permanent Secretary to the Cabinet Office. We are a shared service, funded partly by departments and partly by the Cabinet Office.

We employ around 50 counsel and 15 support staff. We are based in London.

We are currently recruiting Assistant Parliamentary Counsel.

Our publications

Guidance from the Office of Parliamentary Counsel

The legislative process

Further information

Public Bills before Parliament

UK legislation

Guide to making legislation

Documents

Our announcements

Our publications

  1. Drafting bills for Parliament

    • 20 March 2014
    • Guidance
  2. Money bills

    • 3 December 2013
    • Guidance

See all our publications

Our management

    Contact OPC

    Office address

    1 Horse Guards Road
    London

    SW1A 2HQ

    Make an FOI request

    1. Read about the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and how to make a request
    2. Check our previous releases to see if we’ve already answered your question
    3. Make a new request by contacting us at:

    Freedom of information requests

    FOI Team
    Cabinet Office
    Room 3.32
    1 Horse Guards Road
    London
    SW1A 2HQ

    Corporate information

    Jobs and contracts

    Help us improve GOV.UK

    Please don't include any personal or financial information, for example your National Insurance or credit card numbers.