Legal firm paid to carry out 834 compromise agreements at £75 each

Paul Cardin made this Freedom of Information request to Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was refused by Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council.

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

Please refer to the following FoI request:

As you've failed to provide a monetary total, clearly requested at point 4, I've now been forced into appealing, in the legitimate public interest, to the Information Commissioner's Office.

Some further related issues now arise.

Please provide:

o the name of the solicitors' firm who you negotiated with over these redundancies and who were paid for their involvement in the 834 compromise agreements

o the sum total of monies paid to this firm, (not including the cost of the 834 agreements, which has been specified separately in the ICO appeal),

Yours faithfully,

Paul Cardin

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Good Afternoon

Thank you for your email below.  Wirral Council is unable to disclose the
information you have requested, as we believe to do so would, or would be
likely to prejudice the commercial interests of any person.  The Council
has relied on the exemption contained within section 43 of The Freedom of
Information Act 2000, Commercially Sensitive.  Wirral Council believes
that making a full disclosure would be or would be likely to prejudice the
commercial interests of any person. We have therefore relied on this
exemption to refuse to disclose the information requested. 


We have given consideration to the public interest in refusing to disclose
the information requested.  This has included considering the commercial
interests of the 3^rd party solicitor firms in question.    


You have the right to ask for an internal review of this refusal, which
should be emailed to [1][Wirral Borough Council request email] and it will be
assigned to an independent officer.


 If you are dissatisfied with the response to any Internal review, then
you may complain to the Information Commissioner, who would normally
expect you to have requested an internal review before considering any
complaint. [2]

Kind regards

Jane Corrin

Information and Central Services Manager

Transformation and Resources

Wirral Council


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Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'Legal firm paid to carry out 834 compromise agreements at £75 each'.

I'm afraid your claim to Section 43. "Commercially Sensitive" does not hold water. I'll try to explain further.

With regard to issues such as these, where there is a large amount of public money "up for grabs", sadly due to large numbers of employees losing their employment, there may be separate, competing interests to those of the wider public at play; these being the interests of particular firms of solicitors (wanting a 'piece of the action') AND the interests of the serving and former serving officers of Wirral Borough Council, who are placed to make the crucial decision on "who gets the action"...... on our behalf.

However, I would hope, where public servants such as yourself are concerned, there is NO interest under the sun which eclipses that of the PUBLIC INTEREST. I would not like to think that £65,250's worth of work would be handed across to a firm which has former serving officers of Wirral Council in it, possibly in senior positions.

[Extraneous and potentially defamatory material removed]

[Much of the removed material the requestor himself described as "an aside" and "a further aside"]

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:

Yours faithfully,

Paul Cardin

Dear InfoMgr, FinDMT,

This request is now FOUR months old and I'm still awaiting the internal review.

You are WAY over time but I will grant you some extra time - a deadline of the end of this week i.e. Friday 18th April to respond by.

Failing this it will be the path most trodden, in the direction of the Information Commissioner,

Yours sincerely,

Paul Cardin

ScarletPimpernel left an annotation ()

Here's the contract they have woth solicitors firms and barristers chambers .

Your problem is the confidentiality clause. The agreement refers to appendices that name the solicitors firms and barristers chambers. If you could get that list the firm of solicitors will be one of those on it.

Alternatively if you know when and the amount you could match it up with their published payments over £500 on their website to find out which firm was involved.

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment

Good Morning

 Wirral Council apologises for the delay in responding to your request for
an Internal Review.  The Council has now reviewed your request in full and
has chosen to amend its response to you.

On reviewing your enquiry,  I consider that the requested information is
exempt information under section 40 (2) of the Freedom of Information Act
2000, in that you are asking for information which is personal data, in
respect of which you are not the data subject. 

I consider that the disclosure of the requested information would
contravene the first data protection principle, that personal data shall
be processed fairly and lawfully, and shall not be processed unless at
least one of the conditions in Schedule 2 of the Data Protection Act 1998
is met.  I consider disclosure of the requested information would have an
unjustified adverse effect on the individual former employees.
I do not consider that any of the conditions in Schedule 2 would be met
and particularly Condition 6 of Schedule 2 in that the processing would be
unwarranted by reason of prejudice to the rights and freedoms or
legitimate interests of the data subjects.

I do not consider that such processing would be necessary for the purposes
of legitimate interests pursued by you as a third party, being a member of
the public.  I have considered whether there is a legitimate public
interest in disclosure and balanced this against the rights of the former

I consider that disclosure of the requested information would cause an
unwarranted interference with those individuals’ rights, which outweighs
any legitimate interests pursued by the Complainant. I consider, as
detailed above that the first data protection principle would be breached
if the requested information was disclosed.

If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of this internal review, you
have the right to complain to the Office of The Information Commissioner
at   <[1]>

Yours Sincerely

Tracy O'Hare

Information Management

Transformation and Resources

Wirral Council

This information supplied to you is copyrighted and continues to  be
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use it for your own purposes, including any non commercial research  you
are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for 
example commercial publication, would require our specific permission, 
may involve licensing and the application of a charge.

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Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

Appealed to ICO.