Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Departmental Legal Opinion

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 8th November 2011.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Conservative, Wimbledon

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 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 Chris Grayling Chris Grayling The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

DWP does not hold information in the format requested in relation to all of DWP's expenditure on external legal advice. We could provide the information only at disproportionate cost. The information we do readily hold on expenditure on external legal services includes information about expenditure on instructing counsel.

DWP's expenditure on external legal services(1), commissioned by its legal department, in the financial years 2005-06 to September 2011 is set out in the following table.

(1) Expenditure on external legal services comprises a range of payments, including payments to meet other sides' costs, where these are required to be paid as a result of litigation; payments made to counsel from the Attorney-General's approved list for prosecutions, litigation or advisory services; and payments to local agent solicitors for prosecutions, some civil litigation and other occasional work. It does not however include information about legal services provided to DWP pursuant to outsourced arrangements. A more detailed breakdown of DWP's expenditure on external legal services could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Expenditure on external legal services

Financial year Total spend (£ million)
2005-06 5.1
2006-07 5.6
2007-08 5.3
2008-09 4.5
2009-10 4.6
2010-11 4.1
2011-12(1) 2.0
(1 )April to September 2011.

The number of files that the litigation division of DWP opened relating to judicial review and other cases is detailed in the following table, for each year from 2008 to the end of June 2011. Not all of these cases will have resulted in legal proceedings being issued as they may have been resolved before that stage. A more detailed breakdown of whether a case resulted in legal proceedings and the outcome of any such cases could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Judicial review Other (1)
2008 75 332
2009 145 446
2010 204 549
2011 (first 6 months) 75 327
(1) Some cases which originated as judicial review cases but have subsequently been appealed to the Court of Appeal or Supreme Court (formerly the House of Lords) may have been included as “Other” cases. It is also possible that some cases involving human rights claims may have been included as “Other” cases even though they were judicial review cases. In each case this is because it would result in disproportionate cost to determine whether the cases were or were not JR cases.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.