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Attorney General tells government lawyers to adopt “private-sector approach” to client service

The Attorney General, Suella Braverman, has introduced guidance calling on government lawyers to adopt a “private-sector approach” to client service and use “innovative legal thinking".

Braverman’s comments on Twitter came after the Daily Telegraph issued a correction to an article which claimed that government lawyers had been banned from telling ministers that policies were unlawful.

In the correction the newspaper said the guidance to lawyers was that they should advise on the percentage chance of success.

In a series of tweets Braverman said: “Thank you @Telegraph for correcting the record. No, I haven’t banned government lawyers from doing anything. Instead, I instigated the first major review of the quality of government legal advice. The conclusions were overwhelming:

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“Ggovernment lawyers are too cautious in their advice and this has hampered ministerial policy objectives needlessly. Whilst the government wins the majority of its cases in court, there is a clear trend of lawyers advising negatively, only to be proven wrong in court. 2/5

“Moving away from the ‘computer says no’ approach, I put in place new Legal Risk Guidance for government lawyers on how to support ministers better, adopt a solutions-based approach and use innovative legal thinking.3/5

“My aim has been to instil a ‘private-sector’ approach to client service similar to what I’ve seen in the top law firms. 4/5

“There are 1000s of excellent lawyers working in government. They work tirelessly to support huge policy change. I’m pleased to have worked with @PermsecGLD to build on best practice in @GovernmentLegal 5/5”

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