Legal action and costs

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear Scottish Sports Council,

I am writing to you to request the following information.

1) The total spend, broken down by financial or calendar year, on external legal advice since April 1, 2020. (I.e. 2020/21, 2021/22, 2022/23 to date)
1a) Please break this down by the list of associated cases or disputes, and their individual cost.

1b) If possible, please provide the final settlement or damages or other court mandated payment cost for any cases during which external legal advice was sought. If it is not possible to link each case to a settlement agreement, please provide the total cost of the settlements or payments.

Yours faithfully,

Conor Matchett

FOI, Scottish Sports Council

Good afternoon,

I acknowledge receipt of your request.

Sportscotland will respond on or before Wednesday, 04 January, 2023.

Kind regards,

Jennifer

Jennifer Edmonstone | Senior Legal Officer | sportscotland
Doges | Templeton on the Green | 62 Templeton Street | Glasgow | G40 1DA

t: 0141 534 1175| m: 07817 288 763
w: [1]www.sportscotland.org.uk

PLEASE NOTE:

My working days are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

If you require assistance from the Legal Team on Monday or Friday, please
contact Andrew Shaw, Legal Officer [2][email address]
07880 248 058 or Siobhan Harkin, Legal and Procurement Administrator
[email address].  Siobhan will assign your enquiry to
a member of the Legal Team.

Follow us on twitter and facebook
sportscotland – the national agency for sport
spòrsalba - am buidheann nàiseanta airson spòrs

Awarding funds from The National Lottery

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FOI, Scottish Sports Council

Good afternoon,

 

Your FOI request, and sportscotland’s response, are detailed below:-

 

QUESTION 1

The total spend, broken down by financial or calendar year, on external
legal advice since April 1, 2020. (I.e. 2020/21, 2021/22, 2022/23 to date)

 

AND

 

QUESTION 1(a)

Please break this down by the list of associated cases or disputes, and
their individual cost.

 

Please see the tables below with the information relating to
sportscotland’s use of external solicitors for litigation advice.  Only
closed matters have been included.

 

Table 1 – sportscotland total spend on external solicitors for litigation
advice (closed matters only)

 

Year Sportscotland total spend on external solicitors for
litigation advice – closed matters only
2022 (to date) £6,188.99
2021 £7,629.20
2020 £6,943.39

 

 

Table 1(a) – sportscotland individual spend on external solicitors for
litigation advice (closed matters only)

 

Year Matter description Individual Matter spend
2022 (to date) General Employment £1,680
  Caveats £2,217
  Commercial claim £2,291.99
     
2021 General Employment £3,024
  Caveats £2,262
  Personal Injury Claim £2,343.20
     
2020 General Employment £2,520
  Caveats £2,166
  Debt Recovery £2,257.39

 

Please note that sportscotland has provided the total legal spend for each
year in relation to closed matters only, together with the individual
spend on any closed matters.  Sportscotland considers the legal spend
relative to individual live cases to be exempt, by virtue of section 36(1)
of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (claim to
confidentiality of communications), as the information is subject to legal
professional privilege.  This is because the information relates to:-

 

• communications with a legal adviser acting in their professional
capacity,
• communications which occur in the context of this professional
relationship, and
• information which is confidential. 

 

It can reasonably be expected that a court would uphold the
confidentiality of this information, as it could reveal information about
sportscotland’s litigation strategy.  An example of this would be where a
figure is more or less than the other side’s expenses in a live matter,
this might lead to tactical inferences about, for example:-

 

• how many experts have been instructed by our solicitors,
• how much investigation has been carried out,
• how seriously the matter is being taken, and
• how likely the organisation is to settle the matter / go all the way
to proof.

 

In order to apply this qualified exemption, it is important for
sportscotland to then go on to consider the public interest test in
section 2(1)(b) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002). There
is clearly public interest in accountability and transparency in the
spending of public money. However, Sportscotland has decided, on balance,
in all circumstances of the case, that revealing the individual legal fees
of live litigation matters could prejudice the organisation’s position in
a dispute and therefore, ultimately, its prospects for successful pursuit
or defence of a claim.  It is our view that withholding this information
will ultimately save public money.  Sportscotland is therefore refusing to
provide this information in terms of section 16(2) of the Freedom of
Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

 

RESPONSE 1(b)

If possible, please provide the final settlement or damages or other court
mandated payment cost for any cases during which external legal advice was
sought. If it is not possible to link each case to a settlement agreement,
please provide the total cost of the settlements or payments.

 

Sportscotland has settled one personal injury claim in 2021 for a total of
£3,411.20. This comprised:

 

• Damages;
• Legal fees (in line with the personal injury pre-action protocol);
 and
• Payment to the Department of Work and Pensions Compensation recovery
unit (in relation to the NHS costs).

 

To help us, we would be grateful if you could acknowledge receipt of this
response for our records. If you are not satisfied with our response, you
are entitled to ask us to review our decision. You must make this request
within 40 working days of the date of this response, explaining why you
think we should carry out a review, stating the information request to
which this review relates, and the name and address of the applicant for
correspondence. Review requests should be sent to Head of Finance,
sportscotland, Doges, Templeton on the Green, 62 Templeton Street,
Glasgow, G40 1DA. Further information on our Freedom of Information
procedures can be found on sportscotland’s website under the Freedom of
Information section at the end of the home page. You will receive the
outcome of the Review Request within 20 working days of receipt of your
request for sportscotland to carry out a review.

 

If you are still dissatisfied with the outcome of your Review Request, you
subsequently have the right to apply to the Scottish Information
Commissioner for a decision either in writing or online. Further details
on this process are available on the Commissioner’s website:
[1]www.itspublicknowledge.info. An online appeal may be made to the
Scottish Information Commissioner by following this link
[2]www.itspublicknowledge.info/Appeal.

 

Scottish Information Commissioner’s Details:

Address: Scottish Information Commissioner, Kinburn Castle, Doubledykes
Road, St Andrews, KY16 9DS.

Email: [3][email address]

Telephone: 01334 464610

 

Kind regards

 

_______________________________________________________________
Andrew Shaw | Legal Officer | sportscotland
Doges | Templeton on the Green | 62 Templeton Street | Glasgow | G40 1DA

m: 07880 248 058
w: [4]www.sportscotland.org.uk

Follow us on [5]twitter and [6]facebook

sportscotland – the national agency for sport
spòrsalba - am buidheann nàiseanta airson spòrs

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir