§ Mr. Dismore
To ask the Attorney-General if he will recommend guidelines to other Government Departments as to(a) when it is appropriate to instruct Queen's Counsel and (b) how much it is appropriate to pay Queen's Counsel; and if he will make a statement. 
In civil cases involving Government Departments, recourse would first be had to the four panels of junior counsel maintained by the Attorney-General to undertake Government civil litigation. In appropriate cases, First Treasury Counsel (Common Law) or First Treasury Counsel (Chancery), both of whom are junior counsel, would be instructed. In considering whether to instruct a Queen's Counsel in a particular case, consideration would be given to the importance and sensitivity of the case, the complexity of the law, the weight and complexity of the evidence, and the degree of experience and expertise required. My approval is required before a Queen's Counsel can be instructed. No need is seen, therefore, for further guidance.
As regards purely advisory work, each Department is responsible for its own policy on when to instruct Queen's Counsel but takes into account the same or similar factors as those set out above. All Departments have access to the four panels maintained by the Attorney-General and to the services of Treasury Counsel.
Fees paid to Queen's Counsel are negotiated on a case-by-case basis either by the Treasury Solicitor or by the Department concerned and counsel or counsel's clerk. The appropriate fee will depend on the particular circumstances of the case and is a budgetary matter for the Department concerned.
As regards prosecution work carried out by the Department of Trade and Industry, Her Majesty's Customs and Excise, the Inland Revenue and the Departments of Health and Social Security, the Attorney-General maintains a list of advocates considered suitable to undertake such work. Three of those Departments have Standing Counsel, all junior counsel, who will undertake the heaviest and most serious of prosecutions. Usually, only where Standing Counsel is not available or where the case calls for a particular specialist knowledge would consideration be given to the instruction of a Queen's Counsel. The factors taken into consideration in deciding whether Queen's Counsel should be instructed are as set out above. All Departments also have access to the panel of Treasury Counsel based at the Central Criminal Court, all of whom are junior counsel.
I would also refer my hon. Friend to the replies given on 26 April 1999, Official Report, columns 1–2, and on 28 April 1999, Official Report, columns 189-–90.466W
§ Mr. Dismore
To ask the Attorney-General what plans he has to discuss with the Bar Council guidelines for fees for Queen's Counsel instructed on Government or Government agency business.