Helping you understand Welsh law

Legal Services

The Welsh Government Legal Services Department is the largest public sector legal department in Wales, headed by Director Jeff Godfrey.

Over 100 lawyers and support staff provide legal advice and legislative drafting services to Welsh Ministers across all Cabinet portfolios. They aim to provide advice which is sound, effective, independent and free of political interference.

The Department consists of 14 teams which largely reflect the different Ministerial portfolios in the following subject areas:

  • Constitution
  • Health and Food Safety
  • Social Care
  • Local Government
  • Commercial Legal Services
  • Transport
  • Planning
  • Economy
  • Rural Affairs
  • Environment
  • Education (Schools) and Welsh Language
  • Education (Further and Higher Education)
  • Culture and Sport
  • Communities, Housing and Regeneration


The Legal Services Department’s main responsibilities are as follows:

  • The provision of legal advice to Ministers, Director Generals across the Welsh Government and to officials within their departments;
  • Drafting subordinate legislation and providing legal instructions to the Office of the Legislative Counsel (OLC) to draft Welsh Government Bills in accordance with the Welsh Government’s legislative programme;
  • Working closely with the UK Government in order to ensure that Welsh Government policy is achieved in Parliamentary Bills;
  • Conduct or oversight of Welsh Government litigation;
  • Providing commercial legal services;
  • Managing contracts for the provision of external legal services where matters cannot be undertaken in-house.

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