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Posted by: John Brace | 1st December 2014

Do you want to know what 6 redacted legal invoices paid by Wirral Council on employment matters (including one from a consultant psychiatrist) state?

Do you want to know what 6 redacted legal invoices paid by Wirral Council on employment matters (including one from a consultant psychiatrist) state?

                                                 

Continuing from Do you want to know what 10 redacted legal invoices (6 on employment matters) paid by Wirral Council state? are a further 6 legal invoices relating to HR matters at Wirral Council.

The first is to a Dr Gareth Vincenti (consultant psychiatrist) for a 2 hour medico-legal interview and assessment on 24th July 2013, charge for MMCI-III (10th September 2013), scrutiny of medical notes and other documentation as supplied (4 hours) and preparation of report (3 hours). This comes to £2,550 + VAT (total £3,060).

I’ve supplied both the original and a partly unredacted copy of this as the original is heavily redacted. My additions are in green.

The next five are all from Eversheds and range from Employment Tribunal claims, counsel fees, advice on governance and employment issues, strategic advice, employment and governance advice (appeals). The amounts of these are £1,408.03, £14,336.40, £4,098.00, £1,549.80 and £23,280.00.

There are also a further dozen HR related Eversheds invoices that I haven’t scanned in and included here with amounts ranging from £1,140 to £14,049.60 (inclusive of VAT). These further invoices are for (amounts are inclusive of VAT) advice on governance and employment issues (1/3/13 to 26/3/13) £4,811.74, employment advice (6/3/13 to 8/4/13) £14049.60, employment advice (22/4/13 to 21/5/13) £10,893.60, employment advice (22/5/13 to 29/7/13) £8,508.00, employment advice (22/7/13 to 9/8/13) £1,315.97, employment advice (11/8/13 to 24/9/13) £1,140.00, advice on governance and employment issues (4/11/13 to 8/11/13) £3,345.60, employment advice (6/11/13 to 3/12/13) £2,280.00, secondment (4/12/13 to 13/1/14) £2,850, advice on governance and employment issues (2/12/13 to 6/12/13) £1,722.00, employment advice (18/11/13 to 24/1/14) £7,800 and employment advice (14/1/14 to 25/2/14) £2354.88.

Wirral Council Dr Gareth Vincenti consultant psychiatrist £3060 31st December 2013

Wirral Council Dr Gareth Vincenti consultant psychiatrist £3060 31st December 2013

Wirral Council Dr Gareth Vincenti consultant psychiatrist £3060 31st December 2013 partially unredacted

Wirral Council Dr Gareth Vincenti consultant psychiatrist £3060 31st December 2013 partially unredacted

Wirral Council Eversheds £1408.23 21st May 2013 Employment Tribunal claims travel expenses photocopying charges 3rd April 2013 to 11 April 2013

Wirral Council Eversheds £1408.23 21st May 2013 Employment Tribunal claims travel expenses photocopying charges 3rd April 2013 to 11 April 2013

Wirral Council Eversheds £14336.40 25th September 2013 advice on governance and employment issues travel expenses counsel's fees August 2013 to September 2013

Wirral Council Eversheds £14336.40 25th September 2013 advice on governance and employment issues travel expenses counsel’s fees August 2013 to September 2013

Wirral Council Eversheds £1549.80 24th January 2014 employment and governance advice appeals

Wirral Council Eversheds £1549.80 24th January 2014 employment and governance advice appeals

Wirral Council Eversheds £4098 24th January 2014 employment advice strategic advice

Wirral Council Eversheds £4098 24th January 2014 employment advice strategic advice

Wirral Council Eversheds £23280 26th February 2014 advice on governance and employment issues Counsels fees

Wirral Council Eversheds £23280 26th February 2014 advice on governance and employment issues Counsels fees

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Responses

  1. I can see that the Council may have to use external doctors etc, but why do they seem to spend so much on external lawyers etc rather than relying on advice from their own employees?

    • I can’t read minds at Wirral Council. However this is my take on the subject.

      Their own employees would be advising (that is giving legal advice) to their HR department/management.

      Therefore it would be a conflict of interest if the same employee/s were also advising the employee (or former employee) involved.

      Obviously as Wirral has over a dozen solicitors you could get around that by having different people advise the different parties.

      However it’s just not considered the done thing for legal advisers to be advising both parties to a matter, even two solicitors working for the same organisation, both on practical grounds of confidentiality and independence.

      The problem however is where Wirral Council offers to pay the external legal costs of an outside third party to provide legal advice. Ultimately the third party will have a conflict of interest towards their paymasters who if they are advising an employee (or former employee) will be the opposing party to the dispute.

      There is also the point to be made that the more third party legal advisers drag things out the higher their fee is. 🙂 Legal advisers are well known for employing a lot of delaying tactics.


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