Who we are

The CSO is here to be the NSW Government's most trusted legal advisor.

Our principal objective is to advise and represent agencies so that they can deliver the NSW Government's policies, programs and projects in a lawful, effective and efficient manner.

The CSO is the sole provider of legal services in all matters regarded as core legal work (refer to Premier's Memorandum 2016-04). A matter constitutes core legal work when the best interests of the NSW Government as a whole require a single source of authoritative legal advice and central management, or when it relates to the statutory or common law functions of the Attorney General.

The Crown Solicitor also competes with the private sector to deliver non-core legal work to government agencies. As part of its non-core work, the CSO delivers services under several legal services panel arrangements.

Legal services provided by the CSO include:

  • legal advice
  • representation in litigation
  • representation at inquests and other inquiries
  • property and commercial transactions
  • drafting documents and agreements, including intergovernmental agreements
  • assisting Royal Commissions and other inquiries
  • provision of officers to serve on committees
  • preparing publications
  • training and information for government agencies.

Who we act for

The Crown Solicitor is the solicitor on the record for the purpose of legal proceedings when representing the State, agencies or Ministers.

Under s. 44 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Act 2014, the Crown Solicitor may act as solicitor for:

  • the State of NSW
  • a person suing or being sued on behalf of the State of NSW
  • a Minister of the Crown acting in his or her official capacity
  • a body established by an Act or other law of NSW
  • a statutory officer or employee of the Public Service or any other service of the State of NSW or of a body established by an Act or other law of NSW
  • a person holding office under an Act or other law of NSW or because of the person's appointment to that office by the Governor or a Minister of the Crown
  • any other person or body, or any other class of persons or bodies, approved by the Attorney General.

We do not provide legal services to the general public.

CSO management and structure

The CSO is a public service executive agency related to the Department of Communities and Justice. As head of the agency, the Crown Solicitor is responsible to the Attorney General for the general conduct and management of the functions and activities of the CSO.

View the CSO organisation chart (PDF, 59.0 KB)

Last updated:

15 Nov 2022

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We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the First Nations Peoples of NSW and pay our respects to Elders past, present, and future. 

Informed by lessons of the past, Department of Communities and Justice is improving how we work with Aboriginal people and communities. We listen and learn from the knowledge, strength and resilience of Stolen Generations Survivors, Aboriginal Elders and Aboriginal communities.

You can access our apology to the Stolen Generations.

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