Scottish Government legal fees associated with Former First Minister case: FOI release

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

Information requested

You asked for “how much did the Scottish Government pay to lawyers and advocates in defending the case?”.


1. The answer to your question is £116,680 was paid to external “lawyers and advocates”. This fee is lower than the £118,523 figure given to you in our response of 14th March as it does not include the fees paid to the courts.

2. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide costs for internal lawyers of the Scottish Government. The reasons why are explained in the Annex to this letter.

Reasons for not providing information - Annex
The Scottish Government does not have the 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 some of the lawyers involved in this case are civil servants employed by the Scottish Ministers. Dealing with this case was part of the normal range of duties undertaken by a number of different civil servants in the Scottish Government Legal Directorate. Civil servants receive a salary rather than being separately remunerated for dealing with particular matters. In addition, they do not record the proportion of their time that they spend working on particular matters as a matter of course. It is therefore not possible to say how much was paid to lawyers employed by the Scottish Government for dealing with this matter. The Scottish Government does not have any business need to hold that information and therefore it is not held.

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


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

Back to top