Premier's Memorandum 2016-04 NSW Government Core Legal Work Guidelines which supersedes Premier's Memorandum 95-39 provides clearer guidelines for identifying the types of legal matters that are regarded as 'core legal work', and therefore that must be referred to the NSW Crown Solicitor.
NSW Government Core Legal Work Guidelines (the Guidelines) have been prepared to help agencies identify and manage core legal work.
The Guidelines have been developed in consultation with agencies and provide guidance on:
The Guidelines can be accessed at the DPC website under
M2016-04 NSW Core Legal Work Guidelines.
Although Government agencies are able to procure legal services from the private sector in respect of certain matters arising within their administration, arrangements have long been in place to ensure that the core legal work of Government is referred to the Crown Solicitor to be managed in a consistent and co-ordinated way.
Core Legal Work comprises legal matters which, because of their complexity, sensitivity or the need to be handled or managed centrally on behalf of the Government, must be referred to the Crown Solicitor's Office.
Agencies must refer core legal work to the Crown Solicitor in accordance with the Guidelines. The Crown Solicitor is also able to be engaged by agencies for legal matters that are not core legal work, although this work will not be funded from the Attorney General’s Legal Fund.
The Guidelines apply to all NSW government agencies, excluding entities incorporated under the State Owned Corporations Act 1989.
A matter will constitute core legal work where:
(a) the best interests of the Government as a whole require a single source of authoritative legal advice and central management; or
(b) it relates to the statutory or common law functions of the Attorney General.
The Leader of the relevant Practice Group in the Crown Solicitor's Office classifies legal work as core or non-core (that is, general work). If an agency disagrees with the classification, the classification is reviewed by the Crown Solicitor.An agency may request a review of the Crown Solicitor's decision by the Secretary of the Department of Communities and Justice.
Core legal work referred by General Government Sector agencies will generally be paid for from the Attorney General’s Legal Fund (formerly the Core Legal Fund) unless a different source of funding is available, for example:
The Attorney General’s Legal Fund is jointly administered by the Secretary of the Department of Communities and Justice and the Crown Solicitor.
Core legal work referred by non-General Government Sector agencies will not be paid for from the Attorney General’s Legal Fund. Non-General Government Sector agencies are, however, required to refer core matters to the Crown Solicitor. The costs of such matters must be met by the relevant agency or someone else on the agency’s behalf (for example, the Treasury Managed Fund).
Clients should check each bill carefully to ensure the matter has been billed appropriately.
Where a client feels they have not been billed appropriately by the Crown Solicitor's Office, the client should raise the issue with the relevant lawyer, or their supervisor. If the client is not satisfied with the response, they should raise the issue with the Secretary of the Department of Communities and Justice.
With regard to settlement of costs orders in matters funded from the core legal fund, the following requirements apply: