Briefing of Senior Counsel

Applications to seek Attorney General's approval to engage Senior Counsel

The Attorney General is required to approve the briefing of Senior Counsel and to set the rate of remuneration. This rule applies to ALL circumstances where Senior Counsel from the private bar are engaged on behalf of the Government.

All applications need to satisfy the Attorney General's requirements. These are all outlined in the Applications for Approval to Engage Senior Counsel - Fact Sheet [PDF, 212 KB]

All requests for approval need to be sent to the Office of the General Counsel, Department of Communities and Justice to enquiries_generalcounsel@justice.nsw.gov.au    

The Attorney General’s Rates should be applied to all briefings to Senior Counsel unless otherwise approved by the Attorney General. More information on the AG Rates can be found at the Attorney General’s Rates for Legal Representation website.

Further information on how to apply for approval to retain Senior Counsel can be located on the Office of the General Counsel website.

Premier's Circular 2018-06 Briefing Senior Counsel

Department of Premier and Cabinet Circular 2018-06 sets out the procedure to be followed when government agencies wish to retain Senior Counsel to do government work.

The Circular notes that the Attorney General is responsible for ensuring the Government receives effective legal advice and representation. The Government must ensure that Senior Counsel are selected on merit and engaged at the most appropriate rate of remuneration.

The Attorney General is responsible for confirming that Senior Counsel is required for a particular matter, approving the proposed Senior Counsel and approving the appropriate rate of remuneration. It is a requirement for all government agencies to obtain approval from the Attorney General prior to briefing Senior Counsel, including for representation in proceedings and in advice matters.

Approval must be obtained before any Senior Counsel is formally engaged to do government work.

Full details can be found in Premier’s Circular 2018-06.

Purpose

The aim of this policy is to ensure that 'Senior Counsel are selected on merit and engaged at the most appropriate rate of remuneration'.