Australian Government Solicitor
Australian Government Solicitor  
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Government Law Group – Employees who won't work and supervisors who won't manage
Sydney, 4 December 2015


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Litigation Notes No. 26 – 13 November 2015


Express law 240 – Productivity Commission invites submissions to the Inquiry into Australia’s Intellectual Property System (26 November 2015)


Last week in Parliament Issue 34 – 9–12 November 2015


Public Interest Disclosure Act – order form for materials.


Link to Annual Report 2014-15

Link to Legal Opinions website

Link to AGS Alumni

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AGS is a group within the Attorney-General’s Department

AGS became part of the Attorney-General’s Department on 1 July 2015. It continues to operate as the pre-eminent provider of legal services to the Australian Government and its agencies and will have its own independent functional identity within the Department. Pursuant to the Judiciary Act 1903, Ian Govey AM has been appointed to head up AGS with the newly created position of the Australian Government Solicitor.


Association of Corporate Counsel

AGS featured as good corporate citizen

Following on from our win of the ACLA Corporate Social Responsibility Award in 2014, AGS was invited to be featured in the Association of Corporate Counsel’s (ACC) Leading Practice Profile article, ‘Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Company and legal department leading practices for aligning sustainability, corporate citizenship and business purpose’ which was published on Friday 6 November 2015. Read more


Geetha Nair - Arts law Award winner image

Arts Law Pro Bono Award

Each year the Arts Law Centre of Australia (Arts Law), one of our pro bono clients, gives Pro Bono Awards in recognition of the contribution that volunteers and pro bono lawyers from across the country make to Arts Law’s clients.

AGS's National Manager of Pro Bono Services Geetha Nair was the winner of one of the Arts Law awards this year. However the award is really recognition of the very valuable work that is done by AGS lawyers who have been seconded to Arts Law or otherwise involved in the organisation and whose work has assisted many of Arts Law’s clients. Read more


Tom Howe PSM QC Public Service Medal

Tom Howe PSM QC

Tom Howe QC’s distinguished service to public law and Commonwealth litigation was recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Tom was awarded a Public Service Medal for ‘outstanding public service through Commonwealth litigation’. Read more

2015 Australasian Law Awards Winner

AGS wins in ‘Equity market deal of the year’

AGS is delighted to announce that we won the 'Equity market deal of the year' category in the Australasian Law Awards 2015. The award, which covers a number of firms including AGS, is for their work on the Medibank Private IPO. AGS acted as the Commonwealth’s probity advisers on the transaction.

The awards were announced in Sydney on 21 May 2015 and were sponsored by Australasian Lawyer magazine. The list of finalists was determined after extensive research on the various projects.

Our legal team was led by Chief Counsel Commercial John Scala and Garth Cooke as deputy team leader. In commenting on the nomination, John said, 'This recognition from our peers is appreciated by the whole AGS team and reflects the hard work and dedication of the whole team.'


AGS wins Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility Award banner image

AGS wins Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility Award

On Thursday 20 November 2014, AGS's National Manager Pro Bono Services Geetha Nair, and our legal team of more than 80 lawyers who undertook pro bono work in 2013–14, won the Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility Award at the 2014 Australian Corporate Lawyers Association (ACLA) In-house Lawyer Awards in Adelaide. The Awards recognise excellence in the provision of legal services and the contribution made by in-house lawyers, whether in government or corporate legal departments.

Since 2008, we have increased our pro bono contribution annually. In 2013–14, it was over 7,500 hours of pro bono legal work, valued at more than $2.6 million. This is an increase of 2,300 hours and 44% since our first full year in 2009–10.

In 2013–14, we continued established relationships with public interest clearing houses and community legal centres in each State and Territory and included new placements with the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (NSW), the Women’s Legal Centre (ACT) and the Consumer Action Legal Centre (Victoria). Read more