Publication - FOI/EIR release

Former First Minister case settlement breakdown: FOI release

Published: 11 Sep 2019
Part of:
Public sector

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

Published:
11 Sep 2019
Former First Minister case settlement breakdown: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/19/01940
Date received: 14 Aug 2019
Date responded: 10 Sep 2019
Information requested

You asked:

“1. Please confirm how much was paid to Alex Salmond and his lawyers this year for the case he took against you.

Please provide a detailed breakdown of those costs to include the individual sums attributable to each lawyer acting on Mr Salmond’s behalf, the work done for those sums and a copy of the relevant invoices.

2. Please also confirm the sum that was paid to Mr Salmond directly by way of compensation.”

Response

1. The answer to question 1 is the Scottish Government can confirm that final settlement of £512,250 has been made to Mr Salmond’s agents for legal costs arising from his petition for judicial review. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide a detailed breakdown of those costs to include the individual sums attributable to each lawyer acting on Mr Salmond’s behalf, the work done for those sums and a copy of the relevant invoices because an exemption under section s.30(c) of FOISA (prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs) applies to that information. The reasons why that exemption applies is explained in the Annex to this letter.

2. The answer to question 2 is while our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to confirm the sum that was paid to Mr Salmond directly by way of compensation. This is because the Scottish Government does not hold this information. The reasons why are explained in the Annex to this letter.

Reasons for not providing information - Annex
An exemption applies

An exemption under section s.30(c) (prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs) applies to the some of the information you have requested. This is because the information was obtained by the Scottish Government in confidence in the negotiations for settlement of the expenses of the judicial review. To disclose the information would cause or be likely to cause substantial prejudice to the ability of the Scottish Government to correspond with legal firms where information would ordinarily be shared by those firms in confidence.

Exemption s.30(c) is subject to the ‘public interest test’ under section 2. The Scottish Government’s position is that the public interest in permitting the effective conduct of the Scottish Government in relation to litigation and other exchanges in a legal context with legal firms outweighs the public interest in disclosure of this information.

Section 17(1) of FOISA (information not held) requires the Scottish Government to notify you if it does not have the information you requested. The Scottish Government does not have the information you have asked for because there was no payment made to Mr Salmond directly by way of compensation.

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

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.

Contact

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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG