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Government appoints search company to find next Treasury Solicitor and Permanent Secretary of Government Legal Department

The Government has appointed search company Odgers Berndston to find the next Treasury Solicitor and Permanent Secretary for the Government Legal Department.

The recruitment process could see the role filled externally for the first time in more than 50 years, it is understood.

The move follows the resignation in September of Jonathan Jones QC amid reports of his unhappiness at government plans to overwrite, through the UK internal market bill, parts of the EU Withdrawal Agreement in relation to Northern Ireland.

A report in the Financial Times suggested there had been “months of tension” with Attorney-General Suella Braverman.

The role, which includes acting as Head of Profession for the 2,500+ lawyers in the Government Legal Profession, attracts a salary of between £162,500 - £180,000.

The Odgers Berndson website says: “Leading the Department and responsibility for its efficient and effective management, the quality of the legal services it provides to Government and is accountable to the Attorney General for the delivery of GLD’s services and key aspects of this role. The Treasury Solicitor also provides legal advice to the Prime Minister, other senior Ministers, the Cabinet Secretary and fellow Permanent Secretaries. This work is of the widest range but with a strong focus on public and constitutional law, national security issues and the interface of law, politics and propriety.”

The Treasury Solicitor must be a senior barrister or solicitor with a breadth of experience in the law of England and Wales, including a strong background in public law, it adds.

The successful candidate will also be Her Majesty’s Procurator General. More information can be found on the Odgers website. The closing date is 16 November.

A contract award notice says that Odgers Berndtson is to be paid £45,000 for carrying out the recruitment. The company’s contract started at the beginning of October 2020 and runs until 31 March 2021. The award was made through a call off from a framework agreement.

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