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Saville Inquiry

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 3 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland with reference to the answer of 24 November 2008, Official Report, column 886W, on the Saville Inquiry, (1) which firms have worked for the inquiry; for how many hours they have worked; and whom they have represented; (243241)

(2) how much each legal firm has received.

I am advised that the expenditure on legal representatives (both Counsel and solicitors' firms) by the Bloody Sunday Inquiry up to the end of December 2008 is:

Payments made (£)

Counsel for the inquiry

Christopher Clarke

4,488,266

Jacob Grierson

394,879

Alan Roxburgh

2,978,989

Cathryn McGahey

2,268,093

Bilal Rawat

2,203,633

Solicitors employed for the taking of witness statements

Eversheds

13,253,720

Senior counsel representing the families

Lord Gifford

803,040

Arthur Harvey

1,326,426

Michael Lavery

678,191

Barry J. McDonald

1,203,275

P. T. McDonald

120,144

Michael Mansfield

743,421

Eilish McDermott

1,405,133

Seamus Treacy

1,008,703

Eoin McGonigal

134,556

Kevin Finegan

551,815

Senior counsel representing NICRA

Sir Louis Blom Cooper

587,746

Junior counsel representing the families

John Coyle

812,614

Fiona Doherty

641,326

Ciaran Harvey

673,951

Richard Harvey

679,869

Brian Kennedy

661,153

Philip Magee

83,175

Kieran Mallon

823,196

Brian McCartney

874,398

Karen Quinlivan

571,548

Patricia Smyth

360,927

Michael Topolski

159,915

Mary McHugh

424,524

Junior counsel representing NICRA

Paddy O'Hanlon

442,732

Solicitors representing the families

Barr and Co.

696,319

Brendan Kearney and Co.

953,451

Desmond Doherty and Co.

1,449,837

MacDermott and McGurk

1,503,840

Madden and Finucane

12,968,409

McCann and McCann

707,652

McCartney and Casey

1,483,283

Solicitor representing NICRA

Francis Keenan

594,328

Legal representatives for other witnesses

Various solicitors and counsel

3,173,210

I am advised that payments made by the Ministry of Defence for legal representation up to the end of December 2008 are:

Payments made (£)

Senior counsel representing HM armed forces

Edwin Glasgow QC

4,065,817

Edmund Lawson QC

942,943

David Lloyd Jones QC

1,095,966

Gerard Elias QC

1,795,752

Peter Clarke QC

958,853

Sir Allan Green QC

1,522,441

Rosamund Horwood-Smart QC

677,874

Sir Sydney Kentridge QC

52,875

Anna Worrall QC

100,457

Senior counsel representing MOD

Ian Burnett QC

231,386

Philip Havers QC

7,138

Junior counsel representing HM armed forces

Alexander Milne

409,121

Bridget Petherbridge

126,197

Huw Davies

361,638

Ian Leist

965,146

Michael Hick

253,895

Gaby Bonham-Carter

277,393

Pamela Morrison

131,378

Kristian Mills

56,929

Nicholas Moss

991,892

Sam Grodzinski

1,877

Stephen Requena

88,161

Alan May

299,009

Andrew Hurst

590,803

David Bradly

1,291,966

Michael Bools

990,071

Nicholas Griffin

1,195,062

Thomas Quinton

426,072

Junior counsel representing the MOD

William Hoskins

49,892

Sacha Ackland

2,776

Jonathan Hough

4,488

Solicitors representing HM armed forces

Devonshires

2,727,581

Kingsley Napley

1,943,586

Payne Hicks Beach

3,789,748

Jacqueline Duff

175,163

Treasury Solicitor

3,915,980

Given the volume of legal representation involved throughout the lifespan of the inquiry, information on hours worked is not readily available, particularly where final settlements were negotiated. A comprehensive and accurate breakdown of the number of hours worked by each legal representative would require a manual trawl of thousands of claims, and could not be obtained without incurring disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland with reference to the answer of 24 November 2008, Official Report, column 886W, on the Saville Inquiry, what the reasons are for increases in expenditure on legal fees. (243243)

The figure for expenditure on legal fees provided in my answer of 24 November 2008, Official Report, column 886W, included payments to lawyers working for the inquiry and to lawyers representing interested parties and witnesses before the inquiry (including those funded by the Ministry of Defence).

I would expect some further increase in this figure as the final few settlements are reached in respect of fees for work already carried out. The vast majority of such fees have already been settled, but there remain a small number to be resolved. There will also be a continuing need for some legal work, particularly by lawyers working for the inquiry on preparation of its report.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what reasons Lord Saville has given for his discussions to set the date for delivery to him of the report of the Saville Inquiry in autumn 2009. (243377)

In Lord Saville’s letter to me of 4 November 2008, notifying me of the delay in submission of his report, he gave me the following explanation:

“Since I last wrote to you, my colleagues and I have continued our work on the report, but I regret to say that it is now clear that the indication that I then gave of the time that was likely to be required for its completion was a substantial underestimate. As you know, we have always found it difficult, given the scale and complexity of the material with which we are dealing, to predict accurately how long it will take us to complete our task. We are however most anxious to ensure that any further estimate is realistic, and with that in mind we now think it right to say that we expect to deliver the completed report to you in the autumn of next year.”

Copies of this letter were placed in the Libraries of both Houses last year.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland with reference to the Answer of 18 November 2008, Official Report, column 261W, on the Saville Inquiry, what the basis is for the estimate that the final cost of the inquiry will be £191 million. (243444)

The estimate provided in my answer of 18 November 2008, Official Report, column 261W, that the final cost of the inquiry would be approximately £191 million was based on the inquiry’s own estimate of the remaining costs (including an estimate provided by the Ministry of Defence for the remaining costs falling to that Department). That estimate has now been reduced to approximately £190 million.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland with reference to the answer of 18 November 2008, Official Report, column 261W, on the Saville Inquiry, what the reasons are for the differences between the estimated final cost of the Inquiry and the original estimated cost. (243445)

In a statement to this House on 29 January 1998, the then Prime Minister set out his intention to establish the inquiry into Bloody Sunday and said:

“It is not possible to say now exactly how long the Inquiry will take but it should be allowed the time necessary to cover all the evidence now available thoroughly and completely.”

At this early stage, there was limited information on which to base projections of the likely total cost. The inquiry initially anticipated that its work would last about two years and £11 million was allocated for this in the Government spending review. However the unprecedented scale of the inquiry was not predicted, in terms of number of witnesses identified and available to give oral evidence, the number of legal challenges, and the ensuing increase in legal costs.

At this late stage in the inquiry’s lifespan, future spend is for the most part limited to running costs and the final total is therefore easier to predict with more certainty.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland with reference to the answers of 17 November 2008, Official Report, column 3W and 18 November 2008, Official Report, column 261W, on the Saville Inquiry, what the evidential basis is for the statements that (a) the final cost of the Inquiry will not exceed £191 million and (b) the Inquiry’s final report will be delivered by autumn 2009. (244058)

The estimate of £191 million provided in my answer of 18 November 2008, Official Report, column 261W, for final cost of the inquiry was based on the inquiry’s own estimate of its remaining costs and an estimate provided by the Ministry of Defence for the remaining costs falling to that Department. That estimate has now reduced to approximately £190 million.

Lord Saville notified me in a letter dated 4 November 2008 that he expected to deliver the report in autumn 2009.