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Legal Opinion

Volume 501: debated on Wednesday 25 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the (a) cost and (b) purpose was of each piece of legal representation and advice obtained by (i) his Department and (ii) its agencies in each year since May 1997. (300331)

Communities has spent the following amounts on legal services in the last three fiscal years. Figures for earlier years could be supplied only at disproportionate cost.

£

2008-09

5,292,381

2007-08

4,105,192

2006-07

3,909,949

Legal advice was provided on a regular and ongoing basis. The majority will be protected by legal professional privilege or commercial confidentiality or both. Providing detailed information about advice obtained would be at disproportionate cost.

The Fire Service College has supplied the following:

£

2001-02

57,470.81

2002-03

73,613.72

2003-04

38,643.55

2004-05

79,410.99

2005-06

50,447.51

2006-07

27,519.36

2007-08

26,678.10

2008-09

51,907.48

2009 to date (31 October 2009)

71,250.26

Costs prior to FY 2001-02 and the purpose of legal representation and advice sought cannot be provided due to disproportionate cost.

The Planning Inspectorate has provided the following figures. They are unable to provide the reason for the expenditure as it is confidential.

£

2004-05

640,906

2005-06

887,811

2006-07

1,007,750

2007-08

1,108,333

2008-09

1,417,017

2009-10

967,922

Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre uses the in-house legal team at CLG for its routine legal requirements. No external legal representatives used since beginning FY 2007-08. Information for earlier years could be supplied only at disproportionate cost.