Legal action and costs

The request was partially successful.

Dear Scottish Water,

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 Water

Dear Sir / Madam,

Thanks for getting in touch with Scottish Water.
We have opened a new case CAS-2027368-Y6N6M in response to your email and
assigned it our FOI.
Should you need to follow up on this case, please contact us with
reference CAS-2027368-Y6N6M.
Thank you,

 FOI 
Scottish Water
Web - [1]www.scottishwater.co.uk

[2]twitter.com/scottish_water [3]Logo gap[4]facebook.com/scottishwater 

Scottish Water
Trusted to Serve Scotland

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Scottish Water

[5]www.scottishwater.co.uk

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FOI, Scottish Water

Dear Mr Matchett,
Freedom of Information request - Legal action and costs
Thank you for your email of 30 November 2022 that I have logged under the
above reference number. We will respond to your request in accordance with
FOISA no later than 4 January 2023.

We will endeavour to get a response to you as soon as we can.

If you have any queries regarding your FOI request, please feel free to
contact me quoting the above reference number, and I will be happy to
assist.

Yours sincerely

Margaret Hopkins
FOI Officer
Tel: 0141 483 0691
[1][email address]

Scottish Water - Trusted to Serve Scotland

 

Privileged/Confidential information may be contained in this Email and any
files transmitted with it. If you are not the intended recipient you
should not retain, copy or use this Email for any purpose or disclose all
or part of its contents to any person. If you have received this Email in
error please notify the sender immediately and delete this Email from your
system.

Opinions, conclusions and other information in this message that do not
relate to the official business of Scottish Water ("SW"), Scottish Water
Horizons Ltd ("SWH"),Scottish Water International Ltd ("SWI") or Scottish
Water Solutions 2 Ltd ("SWS2") shall be understood as neither given nor
endorsed by them. The contents of Emails sent and received by SW, SWH, SWI
and SWS2 are monitored.

WARNING: Although SW, SWH, SWI and SWS2 have taken reasonable precautions
to ensure no viruses or other malicious software are present, SW, SWH, SWI
and SWS2 cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage arising from
the use of this Email or attachments however caused. The recipient should
therefore check this Email and any attachments for the presence of viruses
or other malicious software.

Scottish Water

[2]www.scottishwater.co.uk

References

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FOI, Scottish Water

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Matchett,
Freedom of Information request - Legal action and costs

Thank you for your request for information  which we have processed under
the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Your request for information was for the following:
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.

In Response to Point 1
FY 20/21 - £1.45m
FY 21/22 - £1.11m
FY 22/23 (to date) - £0.90m

In Response to Point 1a
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this
instance we are unable to provide the information you have requested as
Scottish Water do not record the information in the format requested.  To
explain further, to obtain this information Scottish Water would need to
collate the external invoices, carry out a manual search of relevant files
and the spend identified for each individual case, going back to 1 April
2020.

I would advise that the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 creates
a right of access in respect of recorded information held by public
authorities. It does not oblige those bodies subject to the act to create
new information in order to meet a request.  To pull together all
information requested in to a reportable format would be creating new
information. 

In Response to Point 1b
As Per my response to Point 1a, Scottish Water do not record the
information in the format requested.  To explain further, to obtain this
information Scottish Water would need to carry out a review of files to
see which ones involved any settlement and the level of that settlement
(or court order). As with the point above, To pull together all
information requested in to a reportable format would be creating new
information. 

Where we have advised above that no information is held, this is exempt
under Regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs. The text of which is reproduced
below;
10(4) A Scottish public authority may refuse to make environmental
information available to the extent that;-
(a) it does not hold that information when an applicant's request is
received.
The exception in regulation 10(4)(a) is subject to the public interest
test in regulation 10(1)(b) of the EIRs.

What this means is that Scottish Water can only withhold the information
if the public interest in maintaining the exception outweighs the public
interest in disclosure.

As Scottish Water does not hold the information in question there is no
public interest in requiring that the information be made available.

I appreciate this exception may appear odd but this is essentially a
technical point as we are obliged under the legislation to carry out a
public interest test for this exception but we cannot provide information
which we do not hold.

If you have any queries regarding your Freedom of Information request
please feel free to contact me and I will be happy to assist. You can do
this by contacting the following email address [1][email address].

You can seek a review of this response within forty working days and
thereafter appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner.

Further information on the appeals procedure can be obtained from the
attached document and the Commissioner's website at
[2]www.itspublicknowledge.info/Appeal.

Yours sincerely

Margaret Hopkins
FOI Officer
Tel: 0141 483 0691
[3][email address]

Scottish Water - Trusted to Serve Scotland

The information disclosed to you is prepared for Scottish Water's internal
purposes only and in relation to Scottish Water's operational requirements
at the time of preparation of the disclosed information.  Scottish Water
accepts no responsibility or liability for any use of, or reliance upon,
the disclosed information, howsoever arising.  Scottish Water hereby gives
notice that the disclosed information, represents the opinion/ position/
forecast/ analysis/evaluations/projections/views/situation at a point in
time and the aforementioned
opinion/position/forecast/analysis/evaluations/projections/views/situation
may become outdated/inaccurate/incomplete within a short space of time
after the date of the disclosed information being compiled.  Apart from
compliance with intellectual property laws (dealt with below), any use of
the disclosed information is entirely at your own risk and no warranty is
given in relation to fitness for any particular purpose, accuracy or
completeness. 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION GIVES YOU THE RIGHT TO READ THE INFORMATION FOR
YOUR PERSONAL USE.  THE DISCLOSED INFORMATION MAY CONTAIN INTELLECTUAL
PROPERTY RIGHTS, SUCH AS COPYRIGHT.  ACCORDINGLY, IF YOU WANT TO RE-USE
THE INFORMATION, YOU SHOULD ENSURE THAT YOU HAVE RELEVANT PERMISSIONS TO
DO SO FROM THE OWNERS OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS.

 

Privileged/Confidential information may be contained in this Email and any
files transmitted with it. If you are not the intended recipient you
should not retain, copy or use this Email for any purpose or disclose all
or part of its contents to any person. If you have received this Email in
error please notify the sender immediately and delete this Email from your
system.

Opinions, conclusions and other information in this message that do not
relate to the official business of Scottish Water ("SW"), Scottish Water
Horizons Ltd ("SWH"),Scottish Water International Ltd ("SWI") or Scottish
Water Solutions 2 Ltd ("SWS2") shall be understood as neither given nor
endorsed by them. The contents of Emails sent and received by SW, SWH, SWI
and SWS2 are monitored.

WARNING: Although SW, SWH, SWI and SWS2 have taken reasonable precautions
to ensure no viruses or other malicious software are present, SW, SWH, SWI
and SWS2 cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage arising from
the use of this Email or attachments however caused. The recipient should
therefore check this Email and any attachments for the presence of viruses
or other malicious software.

Scottish Water

[4]www.scottishwater.co.uk

References

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3. mailto:[email address]
4. http://www.scottishwater.co.uk/