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Lord Cocks of Hartcliffe asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Lord Chancellor: The information requested is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Lord Cocks of Hartcliffe asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Lord Chancellor: For civil legal aid, information is available only in respect of total payments made to barristers, and these will include VAT and travelling expenses in addition to counsel's fees. It is estimated that approximately 100 barristers

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received payment of more than £100,000 (inclusive of VAT and travelling expenses) from civil legal aid in 1993–94, being the latest year for which figures are available.

LEGAL AID: PAYMENTS TO SOLICITORS

Lord Cocks of Hartcliffe asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Which five solicitor firms received the largest total annual payments from the Legal Aid Board in the latest year for which figures are available; and how much was paid in each case.

The Lord Chancellor: The information requested is not readily available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

LEGAL AID: R v KEVIN MAXWELL & OTHERS

Lord Cocks of Hartcliffe asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How much has been paid out on account so far from legal aid to barristers and solicitors in R v Maxwell Brothers; and how much has been paid to each barrister and each solicitor.

The Lord Chancellor: The total amount of legal aid paid on account to lawyers acting in R v Kevin Maxwell & Others to date is £4,028,008 including VAT. This amount includes final costs in the magistrates' courts (£829,377) as well as payments on account (as of 9 November 1994) in the Crown Court (£3,198,631). All payments include VAT and disbursements, such as expert witness and accountancy fees, and other expenses necessarily incurred. I do not consider it would be appropriate while the case is continuing to give a further breakdown of those figures but I would be prepared to do so once the final bills have been paid.

COUNCIL ON TRIBUNALS: ADVICE TO GOVERNMENT

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will inform Parliament of formal advice given to departments by the Council on Tribunals, under Section 8 of the Tribunals and Inquiries Act 1992, in relation to proposed tribunal rules, and of the reasons for any significant departure from such advice; and if not, why not.

The Lord Chancellor: The Government have no plans to inform Parliament of formal advice given during the course of consultation. However, it is open to Parliament to enquire as to whether there has been any significant departure from that advice and, moreover, the Council on Tribunals may itself raise such matters in its annual report.

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GUINNESS CASE: DISCLOSURE OF EVIDENCE INVESTIGATION

Lord Spens asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the investigation by the Metropolitan Police Complaints Investigation Bureau into the conduct of certain police officers involved in the Guinness trials into, inter alia, the non-disclosure of evidence, has been concluded and, if so, what are its conclusions or, if not, when is the investigation estimated to be completed.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Blatch): I understand that the investigation has now been concluded and that a report will be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions, who will decide whether any criminal charges should be brought. Once a decision has been made, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and the Police Complaints Authority will consider whether disciplinary action should be taken against any officer.

LEGAL AID

Lord Spens asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the budget for 1994–95 for (a) criminal legal aid and (b) civil aid expenditure is likely to be underspent or exceeded in the current year and by how much.

The Lord Chancellor: It is estimated that net expenditure on legal aid in England and Wales will be £1.311 billion in 1994–95 (£95 million below provision). Of that, the net cost of criminal legal aid will be £476 million (£15 million below provision) and the net cost of civil legal aid will be £604 million (£41 million below provision).

Lord Spens asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the number of individuals in receipt of (a) criminal legal aid and (b) civil legal aid in each of the last 10 years.

The Lord Chancellor: The number of acts of assistance in respect to criminal legal aid and civil legal aid in each of the last 10 years was as follows:

Criminal Higher(1) Criminal Magistrates(1) Civil(1)
1984–85 128,865 334,134 222,559
1985–86 141,149 371,452 232,813
1986–87 136,978 356,736 245,930
1987–88 145,386 405,088 245,698
1988–89 142,651 412,424 237,417
1989–90 149,629 435,471 259,465
1990–91 140,614 440,534 297,555
1991–92 137,175 477,170 353,513
1992–93 124,240 439,548 419,832
1993–94 116,477 432,270 376,893

(1) Number of certificates issued

(1) Number of defendants and appellants represented

(1) Number of bills paid


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Lord Spens asked Her Majesty's Government:What was the extent and value of recoveries made from individual recipients of (a) criminal and (b) civil legal aid in each of the last ten years.

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The Lord Chancellor: A comparison between receipts from legally aided cases in England and Wales and gross payments, covering the last 10 years and broken down between criminal and civil legal aid, is provided in the table below.

Criminal legal aid Receipts £'000 Criminal legal aid Gross payments £'000 (recoveries as % of expenditure) Civil legal aid Receipts £'000 Civil legal aid Gross payments £'000 (recoveries as % of expenditure)
Contributions 1,712 10,406
Costs 88 31,685
Damages and other monies recovered 28,139
Miscellaneous 59
Total 1984/85 1,800 136,094 (1%) 70,289 151,344 (46%)
Contributions 1,883 11,206
Costs 75 34,443
Damages and other monies recovered 33,142
Miscellaneous 65
Total 1985/86 1,761 156,643 (1%) 78,856 174,000 (45%)
Contributions 1,956 11,857
Costs 102 39,311
Damages and other monies recovered 42,335
Miscellaneous 72
Total 1986/87 2,061 178,897 (1%) 93,575 193,726 (48%)
Contributions 2,647 14,581
Costs 19 45,041
Damages and other monies recovered 49,727
Miscellaneous 75
Total 1987/88 2,666 214,107 (1%) 109,424 220,109 (50%)
Contributions 2,801 16,021
Costs 22 55,537
Damages and other monies recovered 58,734
Miscellaneous 65
Total 1988/89 2,823 246,683 (1%) 128,357 260,721 (49%)
Contributions 3,398 17,885
Costs 2 67,912
Damages and other monies recovered 58,693
Miscellaneous 71
Total 1989/90 3,400 286,624 (1%) 142,561 308,289 (46%)
Contributions 4,237 18,570
Costs 18 76,803
Damages and other monies recovered 64,880
Miscellaneous 200
Total 1990/91 4,255 332,712 (1%) 160,453 379,995 (42%)
Contributions 3,022 19,297
Costs 11 95,669
Damages and other monies recovered 67,402
Miscellaneous 628
Total 1991/92 3,033 399,499 (1%) 182,998 513,246 (36%)
Contributions 4,526 20,936
Costs 4 131,117
Damages and other monies recovered 70,057
Miscellaneous 1,441
Total 1992/93 4,532 422,589 (1%) 223,623 686,927 (33%)
Contributions 3,809 23,424
Costs 2 179,542
Damages and other monies recovered 79,329
Miscellaneous 1,803
Total 1993/94 3,811 431,737 (1%) 264,096 827,965 (34%)

Note: ''Criminal legal aid'' represents legal aid in the magistrates' and higher courts. The above table does not include legal aid advice and assistance (ie the Green Form, Assistance by way of representation and Duty solicitor schemes).


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