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Department of Health: Legal Costs

Volume 718: debated on Thursday 8 April 2010


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what costs the Department of Health has incurred to date in the case of March v Secretary of State for Health; and what is their estimate of the likely total cost the department will incur. [HL3238]

Legal advice and services in relation to the case of March v Secretary of State for Health were provided to the department by Department of Health (DH) Legal Services which is part of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Legal Group. DH Legal Services provides a full range of legal services to the department including arranging representation in court. No external consultants were employed in the case. No consultants or law firms were instructed in relation to this cases, although DH Legal Services did instruct counsel. As legal services were provided in-house, additional costs were therefore incurred only in relation to the instruction of counsel. Details of counsel's fees are personal data relating to counsel and so, having regard to the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998, will not released.

As the judicial review brought by Mr March has now been heard by the Administrative Court, the department does not expect to incur any further legal costs in connection with the claim. However, the Administrative Court is yet to determine costs of the claim and will do this giving its judgment in the case.