INEOS and Reach fracking case costs: FOI release

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

Information requested


A breakdown of total costs incurred in its case against petrochemical firms Ineos and Reach over fracking, broken down by (a) internal staffing costs (b) costs of external legal advice (c) any other costs or fees.



On 09 January 2018 INEOS Upstream Ltd and Reach Coal Seam Gas Ltd announced their decision to seek a judicial review of the Scottish Government’s preferred policy position of not supporting unconventional oil and gas development in Scotland. On 19 June 2018, the Court of Session rejected the petition, finding in favour of Scottish Ministers:

The answers to your questions are as follows:

b) The total cost of external legal advice in this case is £173,928.
c) Other costs or fees come to £1200, which was spent on court fees.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested at point a). The reasons why we don’t have the information are explained in the Annex below:



The Scottish Government does not have the information

This is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for because it does not hold information relating to the staffing costs for this specific legal case. Civil servants do not record the proportion of their time that they spend working on particular matters as a matter of course. Dealing with this case was part of the normal range of duties undertaken by a number of different civil servants, including those in the Scottish Government’s Legal Directorate, the relevant policy team and other government departments. It is therefore not possible to say what the internal staffing costs for dealing with any particular matter is. Ministers do not have any business need to hold that information; therefore the information is not held.


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Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
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