External legal advice: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

Request for Information 1:

The total spend, broken down by financial or calendar year, on external legal advice since April 1, 2020. (I.e. 2020/21, 2021/22, 2022/23 to date).

Request for Information 2:

Please break this down by the list of associated cases or disputes, and their individual cost.

Request for Information 3:

If possible, please provide the final settlement or damages or other court mandated payment cost for any cases during which external legal advice was sought. If it is not possible to link each case to a settlement agreement, please provide the total cost of the settlements or payments.


Social Security Scotland takes its advice on legal matters from the Scottish Government Legal Directorate. On occasion, they may choose to refer matters on our behalf to an independent legal firm. It is the spend on that external advice which is captured in the response below.

Request for Information 1:

The figures below are provided by financial year and include VAT.

  Amount (£'s) 2020-21 Amount (£'s) 2021-22 Amount (£'s) 2022-23
Total Spend 3,959.76 1,205.40 7,281.72

Request for Information 2:

Case Reference Amount (£'s) 2020-21 Amount (£'s) 2021-22 Amount (£'s) 2022-23
A 3,959.76 N/A N/A
B N/A 1,205.40 4,878.48
C N/A N/A 1,656.48
D N/A N/A 746.76

Request for Information 3:

In response to your Request for Information 3, we consider that this information is exempt under Section 38(1)(b) of FOISA. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we consider that the exemption applies to the information you have requested. The reason for this is that we consider the information requested to be the personal data of a Third Party and that to disclose this would contravene one or more of the data protection principles set out in Article 5(1) of the UK General Data Protection Regulation and in Section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018.

This exemption in not subject to the ‘public interest test’ and as such we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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