§ Mr. Bercow
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will make a statement on the external legal advisers he has consulted since940W 1 May 1997, indicating (a) the names of those firms used, (b) dates of consultation, (c) the cost of using each firm and (d) the areas of discussion.
§ Mr. Hoon
The only firm of external legal advisers consulted by the Lord Chancellor's Department since 1 May 1997 is Messrs Masons who have been retained since November 1996 to provide drafting and general legal advice on a contract for the provision of corporate and financial services and general legal advice on IT contracts for Crown and county courts. Advice has been provided on numerous occasions since 1 May 1997. The total cost since that date is £234,362.