Attorney General's Office (United Kingdom)

The Attorney General's Office (AGO) is a United Kingdom government department that supports the Attorney General and his deputy, the Solicitor General (the Law Officers). It is sometimes referred to as the Legal Secretariat to the Law Officers.

The current Attorney-General is The Rt Hon. Geoffrey Cox QC PC MP, and the current Solicitor General is Michael Ellis QC MP.

Attorney General's Office
Welsh: Swyddfa'r Twrnai Cyffredinol
Attorney General's Office logo
Victoria Street, London SW1 - - 51380
Department overview
JurisdictionUnited Kingdom, mainly England and Wales
Headquarters20 Victoria Street, London, England
Annual budget£600 million & no capital expenditure for Law Officers' Departments in 2017/18[1]
Ministers responsible


The AGO is one of the smallest UK government departments, with around 40 staff. It is one of "the Law Officers’ Departments" along with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI), the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the Government Legal Department. The Treasury Solicitor acts as Accounting Officer for the AGO.

The AGO provides legal advice and support to the Law Officers who themselves provide legal advice to the government, and works with the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office to develop criminal justice policy.[2]


The Law Officers in England and Wales are as follows:[3]

Minister Rank Portfolio
The Rt Hon. Geoffrey Cox QC MP Attorney General
Advocate General for Northern Ireland
Chief legal adviser to the Crown, overseer of the Legal Officers' departments, refers unduly lenient sentences to the Court of Appeal
Michael Ellis QC MP Solicitor General Deputising for the Attorney General and being responsible for such matters as the Attorney General delegates; providing support to the Attorney General in his superintendence of the Government Legal Department, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Service Prosecuting Authority, HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate and the Serious Fraud Office; providing support to the Attorney General on civil litigation and advice on civil law matters and on the public interest function.

See also


  1. ^ Autumn Budget 2017 (PDF). London: HM Treasury. 22 November 2017. pp. 25–26. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Attorney General's Office - About us". Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Our ministers". GOV.UK. Retrieved 12 May 2015.

External links

Crown Prosecution Service

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is the principal public agency for conducting criminal prosecutions in England and Wales. It is headed by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

The main responsibilities of the CPS are to provide legal advice to the police and other investigative agencies during the course of criminal investigations, to decide whether a suspect should face criminal charges following an investigation, and to conduct prosecutions both in the magistrates' courts and the Crown Court.

The Attorney General for England and Wales superintends the CPS's work and answers for it in Parliament, although the Attorney General has no influence over the conduct of prosecutions, except when national security is an issue or for a small number of offences that require the Attorney General's permission to prosecute.

Jenny Rowe

Jennifer Rowe (born 2 October 1955) was a British civil servant and chief executive of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

Jonathan Jones (civil servant)

Jonathan Guy Jones (born 21 May 1962) is a British government lawyer, serving since March 2014 as HM Procurator General, Treasury Solicitor and Head of the Government Legal Service, and so the Permanent Secretary of the Government Legal Department (until April 2015, named the Treasury Solicitors' Department).

Juliet Wheldon

Dame Juliet Louise Wheldon DCB, QC (26 March 1950 – 2 September 2013) was a British civil servant, latterly (as of 2009) the legal adviser to Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England. From July 2000 until 2006 she was the first British woman to serve as Treasury Solicitor and Head of the Government Legal Service. In 2008 she was named as one of The Times Law 100.

Ministry of Justice

A Ministry of Justice is a common type of government department that serves as a justice ministry.

Peter Fish (lawyer)

Peter James Reginald Fish CB is a British government lawyer, serving since April 2014 as the Director-General for Legal affairs at the Home Office. In each of his most recent three postings since 2009 he has immediately followed Jonathan Guy Jones, who now serves as HM Procurator General and Treasury Solicitor; first as the Director-General of the Attorney General's Office, then as Deputy Treasury Solicitor, and now at the Home Office.Fish was appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in the 2017 New Year Honours.



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