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Posted by: John Brace | 28th September 2014

£1800 invoice to Wirral Council for barrister Sarah O’Brien in Fernbank Farm matter (Kane & Woodley)

£1800 invoice to Wirral Council for barrister Sarah O’Brien in Fernbank Farm matter (Kane & Woodley)

                                                        

Below is the invoice received for the services of a barrister called Miss Sarah O’Brien of Exchange Chambers to Wirral Council to do with the possession order for Fernbank Farm which was heard at the Birkenhead County Court earlier this year. I requested this as part of the 2013/14 audit.

I have added annotations in green which represent information that Wirral Council either incorrectly blacked out, or should’ve blacked out or information which was blacked out but is known to me from court reporting on the issue.

Detail of redactions 1: “Professional Fees of:”
Reason incorrect: Sarah O’Brien is not an employee of Wirral Council.
Unredacted text: Sarah O’Brien

Details of redaction 2: DX 708630
Reason incorrect: partial redaction as it was meant to redact next line, DX 708630 refers to Wirral Council’s document exchange number.
Unredacted text: DX 708630

Details of redaction 3: Mr Ali Bayatti
Reason correct: Redaction correct as person is Wirral Council employee, however due to earlier court hearing name of solicitor is known. Unredacted to aid in transparency as name said during open court hearing in Birkenhead County Court (2013). Also important to know which solicitor is instructing the barrister.
Unredacted text: Mr Ali Bayatti

Details of redaction 4: AB / H19 / 25650
Reason correct/incorrect: Redaction partially correct as AB refers to Ali Bayatti. However redaction done incompetently by drawing a line in pen through after the other redactions were added as an afterthought by an accountant.
Unredacted text: AB/ H19 / 25650

Details of redaction 5: METROPOLITAN BOROUGH OF WIRRAL – V – CAROL KANE & EILEEN WOODLEY
Reason incorrect: refers to parties’ names in court case.
Unredacted text: METROPOLITAN BOROUGH OF WIRRAL – V – CAROL KANE & EILEEN WOODLEY

Details of redaction 6: “Name/info”
Reason incorrect: refers to parties’ names in court case. Unredacted KANE. Rest is unknown.
Unredacted text: KANE

Details of redaction 7: “Init” (three handwritten initials)
Reason correct: Refers to initials of Wirral Council officer.
Unredacted text:

Details of redaction 8: “Certified Correct for payment” (signature)
Reason correct: signature of Wirral Council officer.
Unredacted text:

Details of redaction 9: “To Miss Sarah O’Brien”
Reason incorrect: refers to barrister of Exchange Chambers not Wirral Council officer.
Unredacted text: To Miss Sarah O’Brien

Details of redaction 10: “Sarah Rotheram”
Reason incorrect: Does not refer to Wirral Council employee.
Unredacted text: Sarah Rotherham

Original document is below, followed by the same document with my annotations in green (although it is possible Wirral Council’s legal department have gone too far with the black pen in places).

There is a related Freedom of Information Act request to this of Ian Lewis on the Whatdotheyknow website “Use of barrister in Wirral Borough Council v. Kane and Woodley” which provides a little more detail.

redacted invoice Fernbank Farm court case Carol Kane Eileen Woodley Metropolitan Borough of Wirral

redacted invoice Fernbank Farm court case Carol Kane Eileen Woodley Metropolitan Borough of Wirral

unredacted invoice Carol Kane Eilieen Woodley Metropolitan Borough of Wirral Birkenhead County Court invoice £1800

unredacted invoice Carol Kane Eilieen Woodley Metropolitan Borough of Wirral Birkenhead County Court invoice £1800

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Responses

  1. Legal department or department of ‘spin’?

    • Legal department, who judging by what they redacted have been told to remove all names.

      Whereas there is provision in the audit regulations to remove names of Wirral Council officers, this seems to have been interpreted as names, initials, signatures and names of others who were not Wirral Council officers too. In other words the legal department don’t know what they’re doing!

      It’s possible legal consulted with press department too. Although the redactions have been made by different people (some in pen, some in black marker).


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