Council legal costs

Rabyah Khan made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Oxford City Council

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Roedd y cais yn rhannol lwyddiannus.

Dear Oxford City Council,

How much has the Council spent on legal costs in the last 10 years? Please can you provide a breakdown by year and show what each year's spending was on?

Please can you also provide information on if the Council has taken Oxford residents to court and if it has, what for and whether it won the case or not?

Yours faithfully,

Rabyah Khan

freedomofinformation, Oxford City Council

Dear Rabyah Khan,

Oxford City Council – Reference: 10217

Thank you for your email. Your request was received on 28th June 2021 and you will be sent a response within 20 working days (of receipt) in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000/ Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR), subject to the information not being exempt or containing reference to a third party.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) recognises the unprecedented challenges all are facing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In particular they understand that resources, whether they are finances or people, may be diverted away from usual compliance or information rights work. Whilst the ICO can’t extend statutory timescales, they will not be penalising public authorities for prioritising other areas or adapting their usual approach during this extraordinary period.

Therefore while the Council will make every effort to comply with the Statutory Requirements you may experience understandable delays when making information rights requests during the pandemic.

Yours sincerely

Kathryn Winfield
Information Governance Requests Officer

Kathryn Winfield | Information Governance Requests Officer | Oxford City Council | Law and Governance | St. Aldate's Chambers | Oxford | OX1 1DS | Email: [email address] | T: 01865 252007
My working days are Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays

Stop the virus from spreading. Keep Oxford safe.
Follow the guidance: Clean hands. Wear a face mask. Keep your distance. Get tested if you have symptoms.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

freedomofinformation, Oxford City Council

Dear Rabyah Khan,
 
Oxford City Council – Reference: 10217
 
I am writing to let you know that the Authority requires further
information for  your request. Section 1. (3) (a) of the FOIA provides
that
 
“Where a public authority -
 
(a) reasonably requires further information in order to identify and
locate the information requested, and
(b) has informed the applicant of that requirement,
 
the authority is not obliged to comply with subsection (1) unless it is
supplied with that further information.”
 
You have requested information
 
How much has the Council spent on legal costs in the last 10 years? Please
can you provide a breakdown by year and show what each year's spending was
on?
 
Please can you also provide information on if the Council has taken Oxford
residents to court and if it has, what for and whether it won the case or
not?
 
 
Are you able to clarify what information it is that you wish to receive
please?
 
We were not quite sure what you meant when you said how much do we "spent
on legal costs"? Do you mean overall for each of the financial years?
 
And what do you mean by information on if the Council has taken Oxford
residents to court? Do you want to know what type of legal matters the
council deals with in general?
 
 
It would be helpful if you could be more specific in describing the
information you require.
 
The 20 working days timeframe for responding to  your request will be
paused  from 5th July 2021 until the Authority has been supplied with
further information. Should the Council not receive a response to this
email by 20th July 2021,  your request will be closed accordingly.
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
Kathryn Winfield
Information Governance Requests Officer
 
Kathryn Winfield | Information Governance Requests Officer | Oxford City
Council | Law and Governance | St. Aldate's Chambers | Oxford | OX1 1DS |
Email: [email address] | T: 01865 252007
My working days are Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays
 
Stop the virus from spreading. Keep Oxford safe.
Follow the guidance: Clean hands. Wear a face mask. Keep your distance.
Get tested if you have symptoms.
 
 
 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear freedomofinformation,

Please see my clarifications below:

1. We were not quite sure what you meant when you said how much do we "spent
on legal costs"? Do you mean overall for each of the financial years?

- Yes

2. And what do you mean by information on if the Council has taken Oxford
residents to court? Do you want to know what type of legal matters the
council deals with in general?

- Yes, I'd like to know about the general legal matters the Council deals with in addition to whether Oxford City Council has taken individual residents to court and for what?

Yours sincerely,

Rabyah Khan

Dear freedomofinformation,

Please see below:

- Legal costs that the Council has incurred as a result of taking legal action against people who live in Oxford in the last 10 years.

- Legal costs incurred as a result of legal defenses of its councillors and/or officers and/or the Council in the last 10 years.

- Legal costs incurred as a result of the Council having to make payouts and/or the payment of costs associated with cases it may have lost in the last 10 years.

And what do you mean by information on if the Council has taken Oxford
residents to court? Do you want to know what type of legal matters the
council deals with in general?

- information on how many Oxford residents the Council has taken to court and for what? That might be housing related issues, libel etc.

Yours sincerely,

Rabyah Khan

freedomofinformation, Oxford City Council

Dear Ms Khan,

Further to the acknowledgement sent earlier, unfortunately, responding to your request has been delayed because of the need to reprioritise work during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) recognises the unprecedented challenges all are facing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In particular, they understand that resources, whether they are finances or people, may be diverted away from usual compliance or information rights work. Whilst the ICO cannot extend statutory timescales, they will not be penalising public authorities for prioritising other areas or adapting their usual approach during this extraordinary period.

Please be assured that the Council remains committed to dealing with your request and we will reply as soon as we are able. You request is being worked on by our Legal team currently and we do not expect the delay to be long.

Kind regards

Sal Bartlett | Information Governance Administrator| Law & Governance | SA1.2B | Oxford City Council | St Aldates Chambers | St Aldates | Oxford | OX1 1DS |
Stop the virus from spreading. Keep Oxford safe.
Follow the guidance: Clean hands. Wear a face mask. Keep your distance. Get tested if you have symptoms.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear Sal,

I'd like a date by which the Council will respond to this request.

I hope the recent drop in COVID cases across Oxfordshire helps with the Council's work.

Yours sincerely,

Rabyah Khan

freedomofinformation, Oxford City Council

Dear Rabyah Khan,

Further to your email below. Unfortunately, we do not have a timescale at the moment as the department is looking to see if any of their systems can run a report to answer your request.

I shall respond as soon as I am able.

Apologies for any inconvenience.

Kind regards

Kathryn Winfield
Information Governance Requests Officer

Kathryn Winfield | Information Governance Requests Officer | Oxford City Council | Law and Governance | St. Aldate's Chambers | Oxford | OX1 1DS | Email: [email address] | T: 01865 252007
My working days are Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays

Stop the virus from spreading. Keep Oxford safe.
Follow the guidance: Clean hands. Wear a face mask. Keep your distance. Get tested if you have symptoms.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear freedomofinformation,

Can I have an update on this FOI please?

Yours sincerely,

Rabyah Khan

freedomofinformation, Oxford City Council

Dear Rabyah Khan,

Thank you for your email. I am still waiting for further information from the departments, which I have chased again today. I will respond as soon as I am able

Apologies for any inconvenience

Kind regards

Kathryn Winfield
Information Governance Requests Officer

Kathryn Winfield | Information Governance Requests Officer | Oxford City Council | Law and Governance | St. Aldate's Chambers | Oxford | OX1 1DS | Email: [email address] | T: 01865 252007
My working days are Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays

Stop the virus from spreading. Keep Oxford safe.
Follow the guidance: Clean hands. Wear a face mask. Keep your distance. Get tested if you have symptoms.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

freedomofinformation, Oxford City Council

1 Atodiad

Dear Rabyah Khan,
 
Oxford City Council – Reference:10217
 
Further to the email below, apologies for the delay with the response. I
can now respond to your Freedom of Information Act 2000 request received
on 28th June 2021 as follows:
 
How much has the Council spent on legal costs in the last 10 years?
Please can you provide a breakdown by year and show what each year's
spending was on?
- Legal costs that the Council has incurred as a result of taking legal
action against people who live in Oxford in the last 10 years.
 
Please see attached. We have searched our records for the full ten years
and only hold records from 2017 to date
 
 
- Legal costs incurred as a result of legal defenses of its councillors
and/or officers and/or the Council in the last 10 years.
The following details are in relation to the Council’s own legal costs for
Employers’ Liability and Public Liability Claims being made against the
Council whereby the claim has been successfully defended and closed with
no payment to the Claimant. Total Legal Fees £30,173.46
 
- Legal costs incurred as a result of the Council having to make payouts
and/or the payment of costs associated with cases it may have lost in the
last 10 years.
The following details are in relation to the Council’s own legal costs for
Employers’ Liability and Public Liability Claims which have been closed
with settlement made in favour of the Claimant. Total Legal Fees
£35,593.34
 
Our Insurer handles our Employers’ Liability and Public Liability claims
and I can only provide details of the Council’s own legal costs in
relation to the defence of these claims. Not every claim requires legal
assistance. However, if Proceedings are issued or Limitation is reached or
there is a dispute either in relation to liability or the claim value,
then our Insurer will appoint a Solicitor to assist with the case.
 
If you disagree with any part of the response to your request, you are
entitled to ask the Council for an internal review of the decision(s)
made.  You may do this by writing to the Monitoring Officer, by either
email – [email address] – or by post to Monitoring Officer, Oxford
City Council, St Aldate’s Chambers, St Aldate’s, Oxford, OX1 1DS.  After
the result of the internal review, if you remain dissatisfied, you may ask
the Information Commissioner to intervene on your behalf.  You may do this
by writing to the Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Kathryn Winfield
Information Governance Requests Officer
 
Kathryn Winfield | Information Governance Requests Officer | Oxford City
Council | Law and Governance | St. Aldate's Chambers | Oxford | OX1 1DS |
Email: [email address] | T: 01865 252007
My working days are Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays
 
Stop the virus from spreading. Keep Oxford safe.
Follow the guidance: Clean hands. Wear a face mask. Keep your distance.
Get tested if you have symptoms.
 
 
 
 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir