FOI release: External legal costs

Published: 22 December 2022
Freedom of information class: What we spend and how

Information request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA)

Ref: CW-2022-436

Date received: 30/11/2022

Date responded:21/12/2022

Information requested

1) The total spend, broken down by financial or calendar year, on external legal advice since April 1, 2020. (i.e. 2020/21, 2021/22, 2022/23 to date)

1a) Please break this down by the list of associated cases or disputes, and their individual cost.

1b) If possible, please provide the final settlement or damages or other court mandated payment cost for any cases during which external legal advice was sought. If it is not possible to link each case to a settlement agreement, please provide the total cost of the settlements or payments.


  1. The total spend on external legal advice since 1 April 2020, broken down by financial year, is provided in the table below. These figures include payments to the Scottish Government Legal Directorate (SGLD) and other outsourced legal expenses.
YearTotal spend
2021/2022 £93,405
2022/23 (to date)£65,939

1 a) While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance RoS does not have the information you have requested.

The annual payment for SGLD legal expenses is not broken down by individual cases. RoS has an annual contract for SGLD legal expenses for litigation cases. It is a one-off payment paid in advance each year and is based on a rolling three-year average which takes into account the volume and complexity of cases in the previous three years.

Other outsourced legal expenses are paid based on invoices received, and our records of expenditure do not capture total costs against each case or dispute.

1b) RoS does not hold a record of cases where settlement or damages or other court mandated payment costs have been paid out broken down by where external legal advice has been sought. The Land Registration etc (Scotland) Act 2012 sets out a statutory compensation scheme and the total compensation paid out each year is published in the RoS Annual Report. The RoS Annual Reports for 2020/21 and 2021/22 are available at

Additionally, the annual compensation report to the December 2021 RoS board provides further explanation of how the compensation scheme operates.