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Departmental Legal Costs

Volume 501: debated on Wednesday 25 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what expenditure his Department and its agencies have incurred on external legal advice and representation in each year since his Department was established; and for what purposes such professional services have been commissioned. (300582)

Expenditure on external legal advice and representation is interpreted as the cost of services provided by counsel and solicitors in private practice. It excludes advice from in house legal advisers or Treasury Solicitors. External lawyers are used mainly where in-house resources are not available to deal with commercial contracts and special projects or where there are novel or complex issues where it is considered that a second opinion is required.

Expenditure incurred on external legal advice and representation by the Department and its executive agencies, excluding the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), since the Ministry of Justice was established is as follows:






The accounting records for NOMS do not separately identify expenditure on external legal services. Identification of external fees would involve examination of numerous locally held records and could be undertaken only at disproportionate cost.