About us

The Treasury Solicitor's Department (TSol) was a non-ministerial government department that provided legal services to the majority of central government departments and often represented government departments and other publicly funded bodies in England and Wales. On 1 April 2015 TSol became the Government Legal Department (GLD).

Please note: the Treasury Solicitor’s Department became the Government Legal Department on 1 April 2015.

Who we are

As one of the largest legal organisations in the United Kingdom, we handle over 20,000 litigation cases each year, representing the government and public bodies in courts and tribunals. We have more than 1400 employees, 850 of whom are solicitors or barristers in our advisory, litigation and employment divisions.

Our responsibilities

Our responsibilities include:

  • advising ministers and policymakers on domestic, public and private law, European Community law, international law and human rights
  • drafting statutory instruments and other subordinate legislation
  • preparing instructions for bills to be drafted by Parliamentary counsel and advising ministers and policy administrators during the passage of the bill through Parliament
  • carrying out legal work to support judicial reviews and new government initiatives
  • collecting, managing and disposing of bona vacantia (ownerless property and other assets) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, including:
    • the estates of persons who die intestate and with no entitled relatives
    • the assets of dissolved companies and failed trusts
    • advising the civil service on the modernisation of the terms and conditions of government employment

Our priorities

Our priorities for 2013 to 2014 include:

  • to supply the best quality legal services for our clients in government, while demonstrating best value for money for the taxpayer
  • to work with the government to build TSol into a shared legal service across government as part of the civil service reform plan
  • to improve our Civil Service People Survey scores and ensure TSol is always a place where people wish to work and can thrive
  • to support the government’s pledge on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in all appropriate cases

Bona vacantia

The Latin term ‘bona vacantia’ literally means ‘vacant goods’ and is the legal name for ownerless property, which by law passes to the Crown.

The Treasury Solicitor is the Crown’s nominee for the purposes of the administration of the estates of persons who die intestate and without known kin and for the collection of the assets of dissolved companies and other miscellaneous bona vacantia in England and Wales.

TSol deals with this through its Bona Vacantia division.

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