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Legal Opinion

Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 8th November 2011.

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Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Conservative, Wimbledon

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much his Department spent on (a) legal advice and (b) instructing counsel in (i) 2007, (ii) 2009, (iii) 2010 and (iv) the first six months of 2011; how many times (A) his Department was taken to court and (B) a decision taken by his Department was subject to a judicial review; and what the outcome was of each such (1) case and (2) review.

Photo of Edward Davey Edward Davey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills was set up in 2009. The Department accesses legal advice from its own Departmental lawyers as well as from external counsel and solicitors, Treasury Solicitors and parliamentary counsel. Details of expenditure on internal and external legal advice for the Department since 2009 are set out as follows:

Million
2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 (1)
       
Legal advice external 6.9 7.6 2.9
Instructing counsel(2) 0.5 0.8 0.4
Legal advice internal 5.0 4.7 2.1
Total(2) 11.9 12.3 5.0
(1) Data for this year covers the six month period April to September 2011 (2) Total = External + Internal advice. Counsel costs are within external advice figures.

The cost for counsel only includes the payments made directly by the Department. Information about the cost of counsel instructed by Treasury Solicitors on behalf of the Department could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

The Department does not keep central records of the number of times it has been taken to court. The Department only keeps a record of open judicial review cases and there are currently 35.

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