The Office of Advisory Counsel (‘OAC’) provides ministries, departments, statutory agencies and other public bodies with legal advice across the entire spectrum of their activities.
One of our primary focuses is Constitutional Law, but we also provide advice in EU Law and International Law, the three of which are often intimately connected. We also advise on a great many other areas of law: everything from traffic to immigration and employment, and from the environment to financial services - and much else in between.
We also provide a service similar to the Crown Commercial Service in the UK, supporting government commercial and procurement activity by negotiating, drafting or reviewing contracts.
Our ancillary activities include producing consultation papers and similar legal-policy documents, and supporting the activities of our colleagues the legislative drafting team (Office of Parliamentary Counsel) and the litigation team (Office of Criminal Prosecutions and Litigation).
Each legal issue, no matter how big or small, requires careful thought and analysis. We therefore try to work closely with officials to understand the context in which they operate: that way we can give the most useful and effective advice possible.
We are an in-house legal service for Government, so one thing we don’t do – and cannot do because of possible conflicts of interests, among other reasons – is to provide legal advice to the public at large.