The Government Legal Department (GLD) has unveiled plans to increase the senior capacity of its 120-lawyer strong Commercial Law Group (CLGp).
Two new Deputy Commercial Law Directors, Justinia Lewis and Paul Wright, have already been appointed to work with Wendy Hardaker, who has been GLD Commercial Law Director since the CLGp was launched in 2014.
The intention is also to increase the number of Senior Civil Service lawyer posts in the group from eight to 13.
Trainees will meanwhile for the first time ever be offered the opportunity to specialise in commercial law from 2019.
The move – dubbed the ‘Next Chapter’ – is intended to complement and align the CLGp with work being done more widely to strengthen the commercial capability of government, such as the creation of the Government Commercial Organisation, which is to employ the majority of the Civil Service’s senior commercial leaders.
In a Civil Service blog post last month Jonathan Jones, Permanent Secretary of the GLD, said: “CLGp lawyers are often involved in some of the most high-profile issues of the day, working on complex transactions or dealing with disputes when they arise. For example, lawyers in the group have recently advised on matters as diverse as the delivery of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, the re-procurement of the NHS supply chain, the proposed restoration and renewal of the Palace of Westminster, and contingencies arising from the collapse of Carillion plc.”
Hardaker said: "Lawyers in my group are involved in some of the most important and high-profile legal issues facing the country today. Our aim in the Next Chapter is not only to ensure a value-for-money service for clients but to ensure that we can also offer a fulfilling career for our people, both lawyers and those in the group who support them."