The government has more than doubled its spending with Whitehall’s central legal services provider the Treasury Solicitor’s Department (TSol) since last year, the Gazette can reveal.

An analysis of in-house government legal spending across four Whitehall departments revealed that £31.8m was spent with TSoL in the first six months of 2013, compared with £13m in the same period last year.

TSol has 640 solicitors and barristers. During the first half of 2013, TSoL doubled spending on temporary lawyers and administrative staff to meet demand for its services. It spent £2.65m on temporary staff, compared with £1.38m for the same period last year.

A spokesman for the department said TSol has increased staff numbers to meet growing demand for its litigation and employment services.

But he cautioned that data on temporary staff costs does not necessarily relate to the date work was carried out.

TSol is concluding a recruitment drive for 40 more full-time in-house lawyers. Litigation and employment teams have joined Tsol from the Department for Work & Pensions and the Department of Health. Legal teams from the Department for Communities and Local Government, and the Ministry of Justice, have also joined TSol.

Teams from the Home Office, the Department of Energy & Climate Change and the Department for Transport will merge with TSoL by March next year.