Legal Services Commission

Justice written question – answered on 12th November 2010.

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Photo of Gerald Kaufman Gerald Kaufman Labour, Manchester, Gorton

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many cases have been brought against the Legal Services Commission (LSC) since May 2010 in relation to tendering for legal aid; how much the LSC has spent defending these cases; how many cases the LSC has lost; how many working hours have been spent on these cases; and how many more cases are due to be heard.

Photo of Jonathan Djanogly Jonathan Djanogly The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

It is not possible to answer the question in the exact format requested as the information is not held in such a way by the Legal Services Commission (LSC), which is responsible for the operational delivery of legal aid.

The following figures are all as of 10 November 2010.

The LSC has had 41 claims issued against it since May 2010 in relation to the tender process for the new legal aid contracts.

Of those 41 issued claims, this includes:

1. 32 Judicial Reviews. To date, the LSC has lost one case, brought by the Law Society. six others have been discontinued.

2. Nine Procurement challenges. Of these, one has been decided in the LSC's favour and one has been withdrawn.

The LSC has five cases listed in the week commencing 8 November and another listed on 4 and 5 January. No other cases have been given hearing dates yet.

The LSC has an in-house legal team and it also instructs counsel where necessary on particular cases. The LSC in-house lawyers do not have a computerised time recording system and where no claim for costs is to be made by the LSC, a breakdown of the time spent by the in-house legal team has not been prepared. In addition, the LSC has not yet paid for all of the work done by counsel and so we therefore do not currently hold the information requested.

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