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 Appendix 5 - Legal services expenditure


The Legal Services Directions 2005 paragraph 11.1(ba) requires all departments and agencies to report their legal services expenditure each financial year. This appendix provides a breakdown of the department's expenditure for 2011-12, along with the previous year's data for comparison. All expenditure figures include GST.

Table A5.1: Legal services expenditure summary, comparing 2010-11 and 2011-12

  2010-11 2011-12
Total legal services expenditurea $11,830,853.69 $11,819,550.28
Total external legal services expenditure $10,640,152.42 $10,396,791.74
Total number of counsel briefed 81 109
Total number of counsel direct briefed 18 30
Total value of counsel briefs $1,767,378.37 $2,142,382.95
Total disbursements (excluding counsel) $339,724.11 $180,056.99
Total professional fees paid $8,533,049.94 $8,074,351.80
Total internal legal services expenditureb $1,190,701.27 $1,422,758.54
Total costs recovered $21,666.66 $62,602.37



  1. These figures exclude amounts of legal services expenditure relating to The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, the United Nations Convention on the Recovery Abroad of Maintenance, and international obligations under various bilateral maintenance arrangements. The department records these separately as they do not constitute purchase of legal services by the department for itself. Rather, they arise because the department pays for legal services that benefit other parties as a result of obligations under international agreements.
  2. The department's Office of Corporate Counsel was established in December 2011 with the responsibility for providing legal advice necessary for the operation of the department. The department also has legal practices that provide both internal and external services, principally the Office of International Law and the Office of Legislative Drafting and Publishing. Legal services are provided within the department at no cost to the receiving areas. No billing arrangement for internal legal services provided to the department by the practices operates, nor are separate records of expenditure kept. Such expenses are treated as part of the department's aggregate staffing costs.
  3. An estimate of the cost of internal legal services has been derived from an assessment of the number of staff involved in providing internal legal services and the proportion of their time involved in providing those services.

The staff of the Office of Corporate Counsel devoted to providing internal legal services are the full-time equivalent of 0.7 of an SES Officer.

Table A5.2: External legal services expenditure summary, comparing 2010-11 and 2011-12

  2010-11 2011-12
Total number of counsel briefed 81 109
Male counsel briefed 61 61
Female counsel briefed 20 48
Total number of counsel direct briefed 18 30
Male counsel direct briefed 14 14
Female counsel direct briefed 4 16
Total value of counsel briefs $1,767,378.37 $2,142,382.95
Male counsel briefs $757,966.95 $881,660.73
Female counsel briefs $1,009,411.42 $1,260,722.22
Disbursements (excluding counsel) $339,724.11 $180,056.99
Professional fees $8,533,049.94 $8,074,351.80


Table A5.3: Professional service providers, comparing 2010-11 and 2011-12

  2010-11 2011-12
Australian Government Solicitora $8,211,418.08 $7,439,502.82
Ashursta,b $223,374.07 $572,246.61
Trinity Law $1,439.90 $0.00
Department of Premier and Cabinet New South Wales -
Office of General Counsel
$96,817.89 $0.00
Mallesons Stephen Jaquesc - $62,602.37
Total professional fees $8,533,049.94 $8,074,351.80



  1. The department has Deeds of Standing Offer with the Australian Government Solicitor and Ashurst.
  2. Blake Dawson changed name part way through 2011-12 to Ashurst.
  3. The payment to Mallesons Stephen Jaques relates to special investigations.