§ Mr. Hill
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department on how many occasions the decision to exceed the Green Form financial limit by a solicitors practice with developed powers under a legal aid franchise has subsequently been overruled by a legal aid area office in each of the last three years. 
§ Mr. Hoon
This information prior to June 1995 has been archived and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. As a result, figures can be provided for each of the last two years only. It is set out in the following tables.
Number 1 July 1995 to 30 June 1996 Total number of devolved powers to extend the financial limit on a Green Form exercised by solicitors 23,020 Number of occasions on which solicitor's decision was overruled by a legal aid area office 276
Number 1 July 1996 to 30 June 1997 Total number of devolved powers to extend the financial limit on a Green Form exercised by solicitors 28,481 Number of occasions on which solicitor's decision was overruled by a legal aid area office 273
§ Mr. Hill
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many solicitors" firms have been granted a legal aid franchise and in what areas of law: and how many franchised firms have devolved powers in relation to(a) emergency aid, ( b) the Green Form scheme and (c) assistance by representation. 
§ Mr. Hoon
As at 30 June 1997 there were 1,852 franchised solicitors" offices. The following table provides a breakdown of the franchise categories and the number of franchised offices with devolved power in emergency aid, the Green Form and assistance by representation.
Franchise category 1Number of solicitors offices Devolved Powers Emergency aid Green form 2ABWOR Consumer and general contract 816 35 225 — Crime 1,089 19 741 36 Debt 568 27 266 — Employment 557 33 162 — Housing 634 84 333 — Immigration 93 26 49 — Matrimonial and family 1,671 941 1,379 226 Personal injury 1,504 79 661 — Welfare benefits 277 29 74 — 1 Solicitors firms may have franchises in more than one category of law. 2 Assistance by way of representation. Devolved powers apply only to the crime and matrimonial and family franchise categories.