Trainee government lawyers given option to specialise in commercial law from 2019

Commercial Law Group expansion includes an increase to 13 in the number of senior posts

The Government Commercial Law Group has worked on the proposed restoration and renewal of the Palace of Westminster. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA

By Mark Smulian

06 Aug 2018

Trainee government lawyers will be offered the chance to specialise in commercial law from 2019.

This is part of the ‘next chapter’ expansion of the Government Commercial Law Group, which includes an increase from eight to 13 in the number of senior posts.

There have also been two deputy commercial law directors – Justinia Lewis and Paul Wright – appointed to work with the group’s head Wendy Hardaker.


Hardaker said: “Lawyers in my group are involved in some of the most important and high-profile legal issues facing the country today.

“Our aim in the ‘next chapter’ is not only to ensure a value-for-money service for clients but to ensure that we can also offer a fulfilling career for our people, both lawyers and those in the group who support them.”

The group consists of more than 120 lawyers and support teams providing commercial law services on everything from delivery of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, to the re-procurement of the NHS supply chain and the proposed restoration and renewal of the Palace of Westminster, and contingencies arising from the collapse of Carillion.

In an interview with Civil Service World last month, Hardaker, the first commercial law director in the Government Legal Department, explained how she brought government’s disparate commercial legal teams together.

The group now plans to expand its regional footprint, including creating teams in Leeds and Bristol, and find new ways to partner with external law firms, she said.

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