We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are B Vaughan please sign in and let everyone know.

London Borough of Lewisham Legal Fees

We're waiting for B Vaughan to read a recent response and update the status.

Dear Lewisham Borough Council,

1.Please tell me the total amount of the legal costs incurred by the London Borough of Lewisham, (including the London Borough of Lewisham’s in-house legal costs), since 19/12/2012, on the Vaughan v London Borough of Lewisham and others High Court defamation legal case.

2.Please tell me the amount of the legal costs incurred by the London Borough of Lewisham, specifically in relation to external legal advice and external legal representation since 19/12/2012, on the Vaughan v London Borough of Lewisham and others High Court defamation legal case.

3.Please provide the names of all law firms and individuals who have supplied such services since 19/12/2012, on the Vaughan v London Borough of Lewisham and others High Court defamation legal case.

4.In relation to the Vaughan v London Borough of Lewisham and others High Court defamation legal case, please provide the full breakdown of the figures and please specify which payments were counsels' fees.

5.Please tell me how much the overall spend was by the London Borough of Lewisham on all its legal fees between 19/12/2012 – 1/1/2014 and please specify the number of cases involved.

Yours faithfully,

Mr B Vaughan

Foi, Lewisham Borough Council

Dear Mr Vaughan

Re: Freedom of Information Act 2000
Reference No: 250261

Thank you for your recent request. Your request is being considered and you will receive a response within the statutory timescale of 20 working days, subject to the application of any exemptions. Where consideration is being given to exemptions the 20 working day timescale may be extended to a period considered reasonable depending on the nature and circumstances of your request. In such cases you will be notified and, where possible, a revised time-scale will be indicated. In all cases we shall attempt to deal with your request at the earliest opportunity.

There may be a fee payable for the retrieval, collation and provision of the information requested where the request exceeds the statutory limit or where disbursements exceed £10. In such cases you will be informed in writing and your request will be suspended until we receive payment from you or your request is modified and/or reduced.

Your request may require either full or partial transfer to another public authority. You will be informed if your request is transferred. If we are unable to provide you with the information requested we will notify you of this together with the reason(s) why and details of how you may appeal (if appropriate). Please note that the directorate team may contact you for further information where we believe that the request is not significantly clear for us to respond fully.

Kind Regards

Clifford Palmer
Corporate Information Team
020 8314 9928

[email address]
[email address]

Information security breaches can result in large fines from the Information Commissioner; see the ICO Press Releases for more information. For guidance on handling information securely see the Corporate Information Team's site.

show quoted sections

Ringwood, James, Lewisham Borough Council

Dear Mr Vaughan
 
Thank you for your recent request for information, made under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000.
 
With regard to responding to the request the Council applies Section 12 of
the Act, "Exemption where cost of compliance exceeds the appropriate
limit", which states;
12 (1) Section 1(1) does not oblige a public authority to comply with a
request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of
complying with the request would exceed the appropriate limit.
(2) Subsection (1) does not exempt the public authority from its
obligation to comply with paragraph (a) of section 1(1) unless the
estimated cost of complying with that paragraph alone would exceed the
appropriate limit.
(3) In subsections (1) and (2) "the appropriate limit" means such amount
as may be prescribed, and different amounts may be prescribed in relation
to different cases.
(4) The Secretary of State may by regulations provide that, in such
circumstances as may be prescribed, where two or more requests for
information are made to a public authority -
(a) by one person, or
(b) by different persons who appear to the public authority to be acting
in concert or in pursuance of a campaign.
the estimated cost of complying with any of the requests is to be taken to
be the estimated total cost of complying with all of them.
(5) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision for the
purposes of this section as to the costs to be estimated and as to the
manner in which they are to be estimated.
With regard to the body of your request we estimate that in order to
comply would exceed the appropriate limit as prescribed by subsection (3)
of paragraph 3 of the Freedom of Information and Data Protection
(Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 which states this value as
£450.
 
Furthermore, the Council believes that in order to confirm or deny whether
the information in question is held would also exceed the appropriate
limit
We believe that we have fulfilled out obligation under Section 1 of the
Act.
 
I trust that this information is useful.
 
You have a right of appeal against this response. If you wish to appeal
you must do so in writing to the Corporate Information Manager at the
following address:
 
Corporate Information Governance Team
Lewisham Town Hall Chambers
Rushey Green
Catford
London SE6 4RU
or
[1][email address]
 
Yours sincerely
 
James Ringwood
Customer Services Casework Team
LB Lewisham
 
 

DISCLAIMER

This message is confidential and intended solely for the use of the
individual or entity it is addressed to. If you have received it in
error, please contact the sender and delete the e-mail. Please note 
that we may monitor and check emails to safeguard the Council network
from viruses, hoax messages or other abuse of the Council’s systems.
To see the full version of this disclaimer please visit the following 
address: http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/AboutThisSite...

For advice and assistance about online security and protection from
internet threats visit the "Get Safe Online" website at
http://www.getsafeonline.org

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Dear Lewisham Borough Council,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Lewisham Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'London Borough of Lewisham Legal Fees'.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/l...

I believe that it is wholly unacceptable for Lewisham Council to refuse to provide this information.
Lewisham Council should be transparent and accountable.

Yours faithfully,

B Vaughan

Foi, Lewisham Borough Council

Dear B Vaughan
 
Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Appeal
Reference No. 250261
 
Thank you for your email. We are processing your request for an appeal to
our response to your information request, reference number 250261
 
We will endeavour to respond to you again within 20 working days.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Wendy Stevens
Corporate Information Team
 
 

show quoted sections

Dear Lewisham Borough Council,

I note that your response to my request for an internal review is more than a month overdue.
I would therefore be grateful if Lewisham Council would deal with this matter asap.
If it would make the review process and complying with my FOI request easier, I would be happy for Lewisham Council to just provide an answer to the first part of my request:

1.Please tell me the total amount of the legal costs incurred by the London Borough of Lewisham, (including the London Borough of Lewisham’s in-house legal costs), since 19/12/2012, on the Vaughan v London Borough of Lewisham and others High Court defamation legal case.

I trust that the cost of complying with the above request would not now exceed the appropriate limit?

Yours faithfully,

B Vaughan

Foi, Lewisham Borough Council

Dear B Vaughan
 
Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Appeal
Reference No. 250261
 
Thank you for your email.  We apologise for the delay in responding to
your appeal.
 
Please be assured that we are dealing with your request as matter of
urgency and we hope to provide you with a final response as soon as
possible but hopefully by the end of this week.
 
Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused.
 
 
 
Kind regards
 
Wendy Stevens
Corporate Information Team
Tel: 020 8314 6848
 

show quoted sections

Foi, Lewisham Borough Council

Dear B Vaughan
 
Re: Freedom of Information Act 2000, Response to Appeal 
Reference No: 250261
 
We have now considered your appeal of our original full response to you.
We apologise for the delay sending you our response. In summary we uphold
our decision to apply Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
 
Your request was for information relating to Legal costs between London
Borough of Lewisham and Vaughan.
 
We applied Section 12 to your request , "Exemption where cost of
compliance exceeds the appropriate limit", which states;
 
 
12 (1) Section 1(1) does not oblige a public authority to comply with a
request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of
complying with the request would exceed the appropriate limit.
(2) Subsection (1) does not exempt the public authority from its
obligation to comply with paragraph (a) of section 1(1) unless the
estimated cost of complying with that paragraph alone would exceed the
appropriate limit.
(3) In subsections (1) and (2) "the appropriate limit" means such amount
as may be prescribed, and different amounts may be prescribed in relation
to different cases.
(4) The Secretary of State may by regulations provide that, in such
circumstances as may be prescribed, where two or more requests for
information are made to a public authority -
(a) by one person, or
(b) by different persons who appear to the public authority to be acting
in concert or in pursuance of a campaign.
the estimated cost of complying with any of the requests is to be taken to
be the estimated total cost of complying with all of them.
(5) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision for the
purposes of this section as to the costs to be estimated and as to the
manner in which they are to be estimated.
 
As is a matter of public record, the Claimant's defamation claim was
struck out by the High Court and the Council was awarded its costs on an
indemnity basis. In order for the level of those costs to be determined, a
bill of costs would first have to be drawn up by a costs draughtsman,
prior to a detailed assessment hearing then being held. The likely costs
of a costs draughtsman preparing a bill of costs to determine the figure
and of a solicitor checking the same are estimated in the region of at
least £2,000 to £4,000. This exceeds the level of £450 prescribed by
subsection (3) of paragraph 3 of the Freedom of Information and Data
Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 ."
 
We hope you find this response to your review satisfactory. However, you
have a further right of appeal against this decision, which you can do so
in writing, stating your reasons to the regulating body, the Information
Commissioner's Office.
Contact details: [1]http://www.ico.gov.uk/ or 0303 123 1113 or Wycliffe
House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.
 
Yours sincerely
Wendy Stevens
Corporate Information Team
---------------------------------------------------------------

show quoted sections

Dear Lewisham Borough Council,

Thank you for your response. However, I am extremely disappointed that Lewisham Council is failing to account for its spending.

As I understand it, this matter of public record, (i.e. the witness statements, legal arguments, Court judgments and other information)- which I found on the public interest website www.truthislouder.com, makes it clear that:

1. Although Ms AA Vaughan's claim was struck out by the High Court before it got to trial, because the High Court concluded that she should have continued with her employment tribunal claim against Lewisham Council, (instead of withdrawing it so that she could focus on clearing her name via her defamation claim against Lewisham Council); and

2. Lewisham Council were awarded costs because the Court concluded that Lewisham shouldn't have to spend any more money defending the Claimant's legal actions;

LEWISHAM COUNCIL CHOSE NOT TO PURSUE THOSE COSTS AGAINST THE CLAIMANT.

Am I to understand that as a result of Lewisham Council deciding not to pursue costs against the Claimant, that Lewisham Council cannot and/or is unable to say how much costs it incurred in the Vaughan v London Borough of Lewisham defamation case, unless Lewisham Council pays a 'draftsman' to assess this?

Wouldn't this information have to be readily available to Lewisham Council in order for it to complete its annual accounts, (which can be inspected by the public)?

In light of the above, I believe that it is clearly in the public interest for Lewisham Council to reveal how much costs it incurred in this case. It is not being transparent at all and as a tax payer I find this deeply disturbing, particularly as it is also a matter of public record that the Claimant, (who under oath), accused Lewisham Council of using public funds to cover up misconduct in public office and corruption.

I understand that it is also a matter of public record that:

1. Lewisham Council admitted that it defamed the Claimant, (its former employee).

2. The Claimant submitted around 40 hours of covert recordings to the Court supporting her allegations against Lewisham Council, (which included, but was not limited to, allegations of conspiracy to defame, contempt of court, misconduct in public office and corruption).

3. Lewisham Council never accused the Claimant of tampering with the covert recordings, but it objected to her submitting them as evidence.

4. Lewisham Council told the Court that it spent a vast amount of money examining the Claimant's evidence, and subsequently it never accused the Claimant of perjury.

Lewisham Council has mentioned that I have a further right of appeal against its decision to the Information Commissioner's Office.
Will the ICO be able to deal with the issue of 'waste and inefficiency' in relation to the Vaughan v London Borough of Lewisham defamation case which I would like to raise, or does this issue need to be raised separately with the auditor 'Grant Thornton'?

Many thanks in advance for your kind cooperation.

Yours faithfully,

B Vaughan

Foi, Lewisham Borough Council

Dear B Vaughan
 
Thank you for your email. Unfortunately the Corporate Information Team are
unable to respond to anything further regarding your appeal. As previously
mentioned, you have a further right of appeal against this decision, which
you can do so in writing, stating your reasons to the regulating body, the
Information Commissioner's Office.
 
Contact details: [1]http://www.ico.gov.uk/ or 0303 123 1113 or Wycliffe
House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.
 
Regards
Wendy Stevens
Corporate Information Team
 

show quoted sections

We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are B Vaughan please sign in and let everyone know.

Looking for an EU Authority?

You can request documents directly from EU Institutions at our sister site AskTheEU.org . Find out more .

AskTheEU.org