Legal Expenditure on Employment and Disputes issues by TfL

Meeting: 
MQT on 2010-09-15
Session date: 
September 15, 2010
Reference: 
2010/2580
Question By: 
Valerie Shawcross
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

I understand from a FOI answer that TfL reports the following expenditure on legal services: • Word Weave International (formerly Merrill Legal Solutions) £531,321 in the financial year 2008/09 and £560,441 in 2009/10. • Eversheds, £7,137,500 in 2008/09 and around £6,250,000 in 2009/10. Can you please say how much of this was attributed to Employment matters and separately for disputes? What is the hourly rate paid by TfL for legal services under these contracts? What is being done by TfL to reduce these costs?

Answer

Answer for Legal Expenditure on Employment and Disputes issues by TfL

Answer for Legal Expenditure on Employment and Disputes issues by TfL

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The Word Weave International contract relates to the provision of transcripts in respect of HR matters.

In relation to the Eversheds contract, approximately 8 per cent of the costs for both 2008/09 and 2009/10 related to disputes, and approximately 13 per cent of the costs related to employment matters for 2008/09 and 21 per cent for 2009/10.

As an employer of 28,000 full time staff, and an organisation with a turnover of £9bn, TfL inevitably has a large volume of commercial and employment related issues.

TfL continuously seeks to ensure that it achieves value for money from its external lawyers including securing reduced fees. The fee structure for legal services varies depending on the nature of the matter. The rate paid is commercially confidential but firms are appointed after a competitive tender process.

In addition, a training programme is in place which includes guidance on new legislation, emerging issues and legal risk. Work is ongoing in relation to a long term strategy to reduce the number of Employment Tribunal claims including ensuring lessons are learned and changes made where appropriate.