The Treasury Solicitor’s Office (TSol) already provides legal services to the environment department, and last month took over the law teams at the communities department, Ministry of Justice and Home Office. The energy and transport departments are expected to join “by Christmas”, Jenkins said, with the departments of health and work & pensions coming over next April and the Ministry of Defence in the summer.
TSol is also set to manage HMRC’s employment team, but its other lawyers and the business department will remain outside TSol. “They weren’t on the original programme, and I think we should have a pause to let everything settle down and to go into the next election,” said Jenkins.
“There is a big integration issue ahead,” he said, noting that the incoming staff are “all on different terms & conditions, integrated with their clients, and in different locations.” He was optimistic about job numbers, however, pointing to the potential for efficiency savings and the ongoing rise in demand for legal work.
Explaining his retirement, Jenkins pointed out that his eight-year tenure as Treasury solicitor is the longest in 50 years, adding that “the merger will almost be complete. I either have to leave now, or stay another two or three years while the benefits are delivered.”
“I want to explore other interesting opportunities in the private and not-for-profit sectors,” he told CSW. “And I’ve had an interesting approach from the New Zealand government on advising them to create a shared legal service.”