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FOI reference - FOI 2016-09-21
Date - 21/09/2016

Request

I am requesting information under the FOI Act on the external legal advice The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has received concerning BHS since March 2015.

Please disclose the total amount of money TPR has spent on external legal advice.

Please also detail:

  1. the names of each of the firms that provided the advice
  2. a brief description of what advice each firm was paid to provide
  3. how much each firm was paid

Response

I can confirm that we hold information you have requested.

Information we are able to supply

We have to this point relied mainly on in-house resource and expertise in relation to BHS. The expenditure on external legal advice from 1 March 2015 up to the 31 August 2016 has been:

  • £140,952

The details of the firms used, a brief description of what they were paid to provide and the amount each firm has been paid (from 1 March 2015 up to 31 August 2016) is provided below:

  • Name – Slaughter and May
  • Description – legal advice in relation to the regulatory investigation
  • Fee paid – £91,374

 

  • Name – Wilberforce Chambers
  • Description – legal advice from counsel in relation to the regulatory investigation
  • Fee paid – £40,518

 

  • Name – Three Stone Building
  • Description – legal advice from counsel in relation to the regulatory investigation
  • Fee paid – £9,060

Duty to provide advice and assistance

We appreciate the strong public interest in relation to BHS and the desire to have information in relation to our investigation. However, as we explained in our previous response to your request for information, there are various legislative provisions that preclude the release of information we receive in connection with the exercise of our regulatory functions. In addition, there are provisions in the Freedom of Information Act that exempt from disclosure information that may prejudice the exercise of our functions, which is particularly pertinent during a live investigation (and I refer to you our previous response to your request dated 10 June 2016 for the detailed explanation).

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