Publication - FOI/EIR release

Transport Scotland legal costs: FOI release

Published: 14 Apr 2021

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

Published:
14 Apr 2021
Transport Scotland legal costs: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/202100166368
Date received: 25 Feb 2021
Date responded: 23 Mar 2021
Information requested

Information relating to Transport Scotland’s role in operating, maintaining, developing and constructing infrastructure.

Please provide the following information, in respect of defending actions brought by external parties in relation to operating, maintaining, developing and constructing infrastructure:

1, The total legal costs incurred in 2016.
2, The total legal costs incurred in 2017.
3, The total legal costs incurred in 2018.
4, The total legal costs incurred in 2019.
5, The total legal costs incurred in 2020.

Response

The answer to your question is :

1. The total legal costs incurred in 2016 - £400,380.30
2. The total legal costs incurred in 2017 - £620,279.70
3. The total legal costs incurred in 2018 - £831,459.37
4. The total legal costs incurred in 2019 - £1,270,898.3
5. The total legal costs incurred in 2020 - £1,333,932.57

The figures includes legal expenses incurred by Scottish Ministers defending actions brought by external parties in relation to operating and maintaining the trunk road network e.g. flooding which has caused damage to personal property. The costs of defending personal injury claims in relation to staffing have been excluded.

They also reflect expenditure incurred in the preparation and defence against actions raised by contractors, for example Adjudications and Commercial Actions in the Court of Session, in the course of delivering construction contracts, and expenditure incurred in the preparation and defence of claims raised by external parties in the Lands Tribunal for Scotland arising from the compulsory acquisition of land for trunk road projects.

Disputes are not unusual in contracts and it is important that Transport Scotland receives specialist advice on issues raised by contractors. Given the potential value, complexity and length of disputes/actions, it is necessary to acquire the services of legal professionals at an early stage and throughout the process to deal with matters efficiently and effectively. With regards to those claims arising from the compulsory acquisition of land, the Lands Tribunal for Scotland is the appropriate forum for resolving disputes in relation to compensation of this nature, and given the complex and specialised nature of land claims, it is often necessary to instruct counsel.

Given the number of areas of litigation that the Scottish Government may be involved in at any one time it is beneficial to outsource these to external litigation solicitors to take forward in conjunction with the Project teams to ensure Scottish Ministers interests are robustly defended.

About FOI

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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