HC Deb 22 February 1999 vol 326 c123W
Mr. Ruffley

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list(a) the London barristers' chambers and (b) the London solicitors' firms that have performed services for his Department (i) since 1 May 1997 and (ii) in the equivalent period preceding that date, indicating the remuneration paid in each particular case. [70033]

Mr. Straw

[holding answer 8 February 1999]The information sought could be supplied only at disproportionate cost.

My right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney-General appointed Philip Sales as First Junior Counsel (Common Law) and Jonathan Crow as First Junior Treasury Counsel (Chancery) to advise and represent the Government in their important civil cases. In addition, the Attorney-General maintains at present two London panels of junior Counsel whom Departments are expected to use for the rest of the Government's civil litigation. The panels currently comprise 103 barristers from 42 different sets of chambers. The Attorney-General will shortly appoint a third panel of very junior barristers. The Attorney-General's individual nomination is required before a barrister who is not on one of the approved panels can be instructed to appear for the Government in litigation.

Departments may use firms of solicitors in addition to the Treasury Solicitor and their departmental legal advisers, for example, where the relevant expertise lies in the private sector. The relationship is subject to the usual confidentiality which operates between lawyer and client.