Solicitor General for England and Wales

Last updated

Her Majesty's Solicitor General for England and Wales of HM Government
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg
Official portrait of Alex Chalk MP crop 2.jpg
Alex Chalk

since 16 September 2021
Attorney General's Office
Style Solicitor
Reports to Attorney General for England and Wales
AppointerThe Monarch
on the advice of the Prime Minister
Term length At Her Majesty's Pleasure
Formation Before 1460
Salary135,229 as of April 2010 [1]

Her Majesty's Solicitor General for England and Wales, known informally as the Solicitor General, is one of the law officers of the Crown in the government of the United Kingdom. They are the deputy of the Attorney General, whose duty is to advise the Crown and Cabinet on the law. They can exercise the powers of the Attorney General in the Attorney General's absence. Despite the title, the position is usually held by a barrister as opposed to a solicitor.


There is also a Solicitor General for Scotland, who is the deputy of the Lord Advocate. [2] As well as the Sovereign's Solicitor General, the Prince of Wales and a Queen consort (when the Sovereign is male) are also entitled to have an Attorney and Solicitor General, though the present Prince of Wales has only an Attorney General and no Solicitor General.

The Solicitor General is addressed in court as "Mr Solicitor" or "Ms Solicitor". The Solicitor General is shadowed by the Shadow Solicitor General who sits on the Official Opposition frontbench.

The role has been held by former barrister Alex Chalk since 16 September 2021.

Solicitors-General of England (and Wales), 1461–present

15th century


16th century

17th century

18th century

19th century

20th century

NamePortraitTerm of officePolitical party Prime Minister
Sir Edward Carson Sir Edward Carson, bw photo portrait seated.jpg 7 May 19004 December 1905 Irish Unionist Alliance 3rd Marquess of Salisbury
Arthur Balfour
Sir William Robson 1895 William Robson.jpg 12 December 190528 January 1908 Liberal Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman
Sir Samuel Evans Samuel Thomas Evans.jpg 28 January 19086 March 1910
H. H. Asquith
Sir Rufus Isaacs Rufus Isaacs.jpg 6 March 19087 October 1910
Sir John Simon Viscount Simon.jpg 7 October 191019 October 1913
Sir Stanley Buckmaster Stanley Buckmaster, 1st Viscount Buckmaster circa 1910.jpg 19 October 19138 November 1915
Sir F. E. Smith 1stEarlOfBirkenhead.jpg 2 June 19158 November 1915 Conservative
Sir George Cave Portrait of George Cave, 1st Viscount Cave.jpg 8 November 191510 December 1915
Sir Gordon Hewart Gordon Hewart, 1st Viscount Hewart.jpg 10 December 191510 January 1919 Liberal David Lloyd George
Sir Ernest Pollock 1stViscountHanworth - cropped.jpg 10 January 19196 March 1922 Conservative
Sir Leslie Scott 6 March 192219 October 1922
Sir Thomas Inskip, 1st Viscount Caldecote Viscount Caldecote LC.jpg 31 October 192222 January 1924 Bonar Law
Stanley Baldwin
Sir Henry Slesser Henry H. Slesser.jpg 23 January 19243 November 1924 Labour Ramsay MacDonald
Sir Thomas Inskip, 1st Viscount Caldercote Viscount Caldecote LC.jpg 11 November 192428 March 1928 Conservative Stanley Baldwin
Sir Boyd Merriman 28 March 19285 June 1929
Sir James B. Melville 7 June 192922 October 1930 Labour Ramsay MacDonald
Sir Stafford Cripps Stafford Cripps 1947.jpg 22 October 193024 August 1931
Sir Thomas Inskip Viscount Caldecote LC.jpg 3 September 193126 January 1932 Conservative
Sir Boyd Merriman, 1st Baron Merriman 26 January 193229 September 1933
Sir Donald Somervell 29 September 193319 March 1936
Stanley Baldwin
Sir Terence O'Connor 19 March 19367 May 1940
Neville Chamberlain
Sir William Jowitt William Jowitt.png 15 May 19404 March 1942 Labour Sir Winston Churchill
Sir David Maxwell Fyfe David Maxwell Fyfe, Nuremberg, 1946 (Art. IWM ART LD 5863).jpg 4 March 194225 May 1945 Conservative
Sir Walter Monckton 25 May 194526 July 1945
Sir Frank Soskice 4 August 194524 April 1951 Labour Clement Attlee
Sir Lynn Ungoed-Thomas 24 April 195126 October 1951
Sir Reginald Manningham-Buller 3 November 19518 October 1954 Conservative Sir Winston Churchill
Sir Harry Hylton-Foster 18 October 195422 October 1959
Sir Winston Churchill

Sir Anthony Eden

Harold Macmillan

Harold Macmillan
Sir Jocelyn Simon 22 October 19598 February 1962
Sir John Hobson 8 February 196219 July 1962
Sir Peter Rawlinson 19 July 196216 October 1964 Harold Macmillan

Sir Alec Douglas-Home

Sir Dingle Foot 18 October 196424 August 1967 Labour Harold Wilson
Sir Arthur Irvine 24 August 196719 June 1970
Sir Geoffrey Howe Geoffrey Howe 2003 (retouched).tif 23 June 19705 November 1972 Conservative Edward Heath
Sir Michael Havers 5 November 19724 March 1974
Peter Archer 7 March 19744 May 1979 Labour Harold Wilson

James Callaghan

Sir Ian Percival 5 May 197913 June 1983 Conservative Margaret Thatcher
Sir Patrick Mayhew 13 June 198313 June 1987
Sir Nicholas Lyell 13 June 198715 April 1992 Margaret Thatcher

John Major

Sir Derek Spencer 15 April 19922 May 1997 John Major
Lord Falconer of Thoroton Official portrait of Lord Falconer of Thoroton crop 2.jpg 6 May 199728 July 1998 Labour Tony Blair
Sir Ross Cranston 28 July 199811 June 2001


Colour key (for political parties):
   Conservative    Labour

NamePortraitTerm of officePolitical party Prime Minister
Harriet Harman [3] Official portrait of Ms Harriet Harman crop 2.jpg 11 June 200110 May 2005 Labour Tony Blair
Mike O'Brien [4] Mike O'Brien 2.jpg 11 May 200529 June 2007
Dame Vera Baird [5] Dame Vera Baird.jpg 29 June 200711 May 2010 Gordon Brown
Sir Edward Garnier [6] Edward Garnier, Solicitor General.jpg 13 May 20104 September 2012 Conservative David Cameron
Sir Oliver Heald [7] Official portrait of Sir Oliver Heald crop 2.jpg 4 September 201215 July 2014
Robert Buckland [8] Official portrait of Robert Buckland crop 2.jpg 15 July 2014 9 May 2019
David Cameron
Theresa May
Lucy Frazer [9] Official portrait of Lucy Frazer.jpg 9 May 2019 25 July 2019 Theresa May
Michael Ellis Official portrait of Rt Hon Michael Ellis MP crop 2.jpg 25 July 20192 March 2021 Boris Johnson
Lucy Frazer Official portrait of Lucy Frazer MP crop 2.jpg 2 March 202110 September 2021
Michael Ellis Official portrait of Rt Hon Michael Ellis MP crop 2.jpg 10 September 202116 September 2021
Alex Chalk Official portrait of Alex Chalk MP crop 2.jpg 16 September 2021Incumbent

See also


  1. Information Office, House of Commons Information Office (September 2010). "Factsheet M6 Members Series – Ministerial Salaries" (PDF). House of Commons. House of Commons. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 May 2019. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  2. "Solicitor General -". Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  3. "Rt Hon Harriet Harman QC MP". UK Parliament. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  4. "Rt Hon Mike O'Brien". UK Parliament. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  5. "PCC appointed as victims' commissioner". 13 May 2019. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  6. "Sir Edward Garnier QC – GOV.UK". Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  7. "About Sir Oliver". Rt Hon Sir Oliver Heald QC MP. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  8. Bet, Martina (14 June 2019). "How John Bercow's 'Brexit betrayal is absurd contradiction of democracy' – David Starkey". Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  9. "New Solicitor General appointed". GOV.UK. Retrieved 11 July 2019.

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