The Department has interpreted a “legal dispute” to be a claim brought in a tribunal or court, either against or by the department. Spending on legal disputes can include a range of costs, including fees for external representation before a court or supporting the preparation of the litigation.
The Department does not keep a central record of all of its spend on legal disputes and neither does it keep a record of such spending by its associated agencies. Accordingly, the Department considers the disproportionate cost threshold applies for the collection of this additional information.
However, where the Department is represented by the Government Legal Department in legal proceedings before most Courts and Tribunals in England and Wales, it does have a record of the charges levied on it for those costs. These figures take into account:
(a) that they are charges levied by the Government Legal Department for representing the Department in legal disputes during the relevant periods whenever the legal dispute may have arisen;
(b) That the charges can be subject to retrospective changes;
(c) The figures are inclusive of Value Added Tax where this is payable;
(d) The figures do not include sums awarded in costs against the Department or sums awarded to the Department as a result of legal disputes.
2020 - £35,616,827
2021 - £37,286,712
2022 (for the period 1 January – 30 June) - £18,634,689