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Departmental Legal Costs

Volume 501: debated on Wednesday 25 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what expenditure his Department and its agencies have incurred on external legal advice and representation in each year since 1997; and for what purposes such services were commissioned. (300580)

The amount spent by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) on external legal advice and representation from counsel and solicitors in private practice by way of disbursements paid via the Treasury Solicitor (which form the bulk of the FCO's external legal costs) in each year since 1998 is as follows:

(£)

1998-99

54,667.70

1999-2000

50,963.21

2000-01

117,117.11

2001-02

124,641.66

2002-03

697,878.22

2003-04

204,366.75

2004-05

331,731.68

2005-06

328,378.29

2006-07

387,591.16

2007-08

294,497.06

2008-09

362,177.08

The figure for such spending for the financial year 1997-98 is no longer held by the FCO.

The FCO does not hold information on aggregate amounts of external fees paid other than via the Treasury Solicitor.

These professional services are commissioned for the purposes of legal representation in court proceedings and obtaining legal advice.