The Welsh government is in talks with the Law Society about providing taxpayers’ money to support new and existing law firms in the country, the Gazette can reveal.

Meetings were held last week with a view to the government offering help to domestic firms in gaining the Society’s Lexcel accreditation.

Malcolm Davies, business development manager for the Welsh government, said financial support would be available for solicitors, barristers, in-house counsel or alternative business structures.

Assistance would depend on a business plan from the applicant and be based on intelligence gathered from clients. No further detail was available on how much financial assistance would be offered.

The Welsh Department for Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science’s business finance scheme allows businesses to apply for financial assistance to invest in Wales depending upon the company demonstrating a need for support.

It is believed the Welsh government is also looking to encourage more firms to set up back-office functions in Wales, following Northern Ireland’s success in attracting Herbert Smith Freehills and Allen & Overy.

According to the Hays Legal market overview for 2012, professional service salaries are lower in south Wales than in any other region of mainland Britain, starting at £22,000 for newly qualified graduates.