Lobbying and law firms
Lobbying and law firms

The following Practice Compliance guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Lobbying and law firms
  • Who is required to register as a consultant lobbyist
  • What is lobbying?
  • How to register
  • Quarterly information returns
  • Ceasing lobbying activities
  • Offences
  • Civil penalties
  • Client confidentiality
  • Should you register?

Part 1 of the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014 (TLNPCTUAA 2014) regulates consultant lobbying—the business of making representations to government on behalf of clients.

Consultant lobbyists are required to be registered with the Office of the Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists, and disclose the names of their clients on the register. They are also required to disclose whether they subscribe to a publicly available code of conduct.

This will not affect most firms, but you should not assume the legislation is irrelevant to you. Guidance issued by the Office of the Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists in November 2015 clearly anticipates that law firms can by caught in the lobbying regime. If your firm has any contact with ministers or permanent secretaries you should consider carefully whether you need to register.

Who is required to register as a consultant lobbyist

If you intend to carry on the business of consultant lobbying, you must be registered on the Register of consultant lobbyists before doing so. It is an offence to engage in lobbying while unregistered.

You can register in advance of carrying out any lobbying activities, ie where lobbying activities are envisaged at some point in the future.

There are several exceptions, of which the most relevant to law firms are (i) the in-house exception and (ii) the incidental exception.


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