Office of Legal Services Coordination
The Office of Legal Services Coordination works to make sure Australian Government agencies receive consistent and well-coordinated legal services.
Legal services should:
- be of a high standard
- uphold the public interest
- be sensitive to the context that Commonwealth interests may be broader than those of any one agency.
We also administer the Legal Services Directions 2017. These replaced the Legal Services Directions 2005. Where a pre-existing instrument or document refers to the Legal Services Directions 2005, the reference will be read as a reference to the Legal Services Directions 2017, see paragraph 6 of Appendix G of the Legal Services Directions 2017.
More information about the services we provide and our responsibilities can be found by following the links below:
- Legal Services Directions 2017 and guidance notes
- Purchasing legal services
- Engagement of Counsel
- Compliance and reporting
- Connecting government lawyers
- Commonwealth legal services expenditure
We are aware of people receiving voicemails that claim to be from the 'Department of Legal Services' and may include threats to cancel your Tax File Number or arrest you.
There is no Australian Government agency named the 'Department of Legal Services'. The Australian Taxation Office is responsible for Tax File Numbers. They will never send unsolicited, pre-recorded messages to your phone. To confirm whether an interaction is genuine, you can call the ATO on 1800 008 540.
Find out more about how to identify and respond to phone scams by visiting the ATO website and Scamwatch.
If you or someone you know has paid or provided sensitive personal identifying information to a scammer, call the ATO on 1800 008 540 to report.
Service of court documents on the Commonwealth
Section 63 of the Judiciary Act 1903 provides that where the Commonwealth is a party to a suit, a process in that suit is to be served on the Attorney-General, or upon some person appointed by them to receive service.
The AGS has established the e-service email address email@example.com. You can use this to serve originating processes on the Commonwealth.
We have established this option to support the ongoing nature of litigation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you don’t have email access, the originating process must be delivered in-person to:
- the Director of an AGS Office,
- an AGS Senior Executive Lawyer, or
- an AGS Senior Lawyer (Hobart and Darwin AGS offices only).
Find out more about electronic service of documents.
You can still effect service on the Commonwealth at the locations listed in the document: Locations to effect service on the Commonwealth - December 2017.
Law firms providing legal services to the Commonwealth or its agencies may apply to the Office of Legal Services Coordination to be appointed to receive service on behalf of the Commonwealth under the Judiciary Act 1903 (Cth).
Refer to Guidance note 9 to the Legal Services Directions 2017 for an indication of what issues an application for appointment should address.
Service of originating process on the Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Australian Government Solicitor (AGS) is directed by the Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations to accept service on his behalf of the originating process in any suit that names him in his capacity as the Attorney-General or the Minister for Industrial Relations, or that names him personally in relation to the performance of his functions as the Attorney-General or the Minister for Industrial Relations.
For service to be effected in that regard, the originating process must be delivered personally to an AGS lawyer who is the Director of an AGS Office or a Senior Executive Lawyer, or in the case of the Hobart AGS Office or the Darwin AGS Office, a Senior Lawyer. Alternatively, the e-service email address firstname.lastname@example.org can also be used.
AGS office locations are available on the AGS website.