What we do

The Office of the Parliamentary Counsel is a group of government lawyers who specialise in drafting legislation. We work closely with departments to translate policy into clear, effective and readable law. Our role will often begin when legislation is first being considered and we will remain involved throughout the Parliamentary process and beyond.


We are responsible for:

  • drafting all government bills
  • advising departments on the rules and procedures of Parliament
  • reviewing orders and regulations which amend Acts of Parliament
  • assisting government on a range of legal and constitutional issues


Our priorities are:

  • to help the government to prepare and take through Parliament its programme of legislation
  • to provide leadership and training for drafters throughout government
  • to work with colleagues within and outside government to promote good law
  • to build links with universities, the judiciary and others

Who we are

We are headed by Richard Heaton, who is First Parliamentary Counsel and also Permanent Secretary to the Cabinet Office. We are a shared service, funded partly by departments and partly by the Cabinet Office.

We employ around 50 counsel and 15 support staff. We are based in London.

Our publications

Guidance from the Office of Parliamentary Counsel

The legislative process

Further information

Public Bills before Parliament

UK legislation

Guide to making legislation


Our announcements

Our publications

  1. Drafting bills for Parliament

    • 20 March 2014
    • Guidance
  2. Money bills

    • 3 December 2013
    • Guidance

See all our publications

Our management

    Contact OPC

    Office address

    1 Horse Guards Road

    SW1A 2HQ

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    Cabinet Office
    Room 3.32
    1 Horse Guards Road
    SW1A 2HQ

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