Use of barrister in Wirral Borough Council v. Kane and Woodley

Ian Lewis 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 successful.

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

Please advise:

- the total fee payable, including any costs and expenses, for Sarah O'Brien of Exchange Chambers, to represent Wirral Borough Council in the case of WBC v. Kane and Woodley (Fernbank Farm)
- the date she was instructed
- the names of officers who have met with Ms O'Brien prior to hearing
- how she was selected to represent the authority

Thanks

Yours faithfully,

Cllr Ian Lewis

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Councillor Lewis,

 

I refer to your request for information contained in your email of 17
February. Your request was as follows:-

 

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

Please advise:

- the total fee payable, including any costs and expenses, for
Sarah O'Brien of Exchange Chambers, to represent Wirral Borough
Council in the case of WBC v. Kane and Woodley (Fernbank Farm)
- the date she was instructed
- the names of officers who have met with Ms O'Brien prior to
hearing
- how she was selected to represent the authority

 

 

1. The total fee payable for Counsel including VAT was £1800 ( £1500 plus
VAT of £300).

 

2. Counsel was instructed on 6 February 2014.

 

3. There was no meeting with officers and Counsel prior to the hearing,
Counsel having been briefed in writing by Legal Services. The solicitor
who would normally have dealt with such a hearing was on pre-booked annual
leave. Therefore the Council holds no information in respect of this part
of your request for information.

 

4, The Chambers, which Counsel belongs to, was part of the North West
Consortium (List of Chambers and Counsel which had been chosen by the
North West Consortium of local authorities following a tendering process).
Counsel was specifically selected because of previous experience involving
possession proceedings.

 

If you are not satisfied with the response, you have the right to ask for
an internal review. This should be sent to
[1][Wirral Borough Council request email] or in writing to

Jane Corrin

Legal and Member Services

Town Hall

Brighton Street

Wallasey

CH44 8ED.

 

You also have the right to complain further to the Information
Commissioner whose address is:

The Information Commissioner’s Office,

Wycliffe House,

Water Lane,

Wilmslow,

Cheshire SK9 5AF

[2]www.ico.gov.uk

 

Tel -0303 123 113

 

Regards,

 

Sent on behalf of

 

Rosemary Lyon,

Solicitor,

 

 

 

 

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ScarletPimpernel left an annotation ()

Hi Cllr Ian Lewis, I notice this Freedom of Information Act request refers to the Council's North West Legal Consortium Collaboration Agreement that runs to twenty pages.

I wrote a blog post about this last year in August see http://johnbrace.com/2013/08/30/outrageo... and how Wirral Council blacked out the hourly rates they were paying for legal advice or representation to Weightmans Solicitors before giving me a copy of the agreement.

Unfortunately Wirral Council also seem to have failed to give me a copy of the schedules to the contract which detail the solicitors firms and Chambers covered by it, something I will try to rectify. However a link to the twenty page contract is on my blog if you're interested.

Paul Cardin left an annotation ()

There's a 'warmer' corner of hell labelled "Counsel", allegedly.

M D Ryan left an annotation ()

Thanks Cllr Ian Lewis!