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First Parliamentary Counsel

Cabinet Office - Office of the Parliamentary Counsel
London (Central), London (Greater)
Closing date
28 Feb 2024

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Practice area
Public law
Contract type
Full time
5 years, 6 years, 7 years+
Legal counsel, Solicitor
Public sector/Charities

Job Details

First Parliamentary Counsel

Job reference: 340490

Closing date: 09:00am Wednesday 28 February 2023

Location: London, Whitehall.


The First Parliamentary Counsel is a specialist leadership role within the Cabinet Office, at Permanent Secretary level. The holder of the role leads an office of professional legislative drafters, as well as the wider Government in Parliament group.

The Government in Parliament group in the Cabinet Office consists of the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel and the Offices of the Parliamentary Business Managers.

The First Parliamentary Counsel’s principal responsibilities to Ministers are for the production and passage of Bills in the Government’s legislative programme and for supporting the Parliamentary Business Managers to deliver the Government’s parliamentary business. They attend all meetings of the Cabinet’s Parliamentary Business and Legislation Committee, provide advice on the production and handling of Bills to the Business Managers before and after introduction into Parliament and work across departments to promote the building of parliamentary capability amongst civil servants. They are also the Government’s principal link with the senior clerks and other members of the authorities of both Houses of Parliament in connection with matters of legislative procedure.

The First Parliamentary Counsel also acts as a legal and constitutional adviser to the Cabinet Secretary on issues relating to government formation, machinery of government changes, the appointment of Ministers, and other constitutional matters.

We are looking for an exceptional leader with strong legislative skills and the ability to lead and manage the Government in Parliament group in relation to delivery of the overall legislative programme. You will be expected to set the future direction within the strategic context, engage your people and develop their capability, manage effectively using strong project management disciplines and ensure delivery of results within budget.

Detailed information about the role, including how to apply can be found on the Civil Service Jobs recruitment portal (reference 340490).



The Office of the Parliamentary Counsel is based in Whitehall and consists of about 55 staff (40 of whom are legislative drafters).  A person appointed would work as part of a team of drafters collaborating with departmental lawyers and other officials in the preparation and handling of Government Bills. 

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