Wales Office spends £15,000 on external lawyers

The UK government is keen to reduce the amount of public money spent on lawyers.

After all, they don't come cheap; as the Wales Office - the Whitehall department whose job it is to represent Wales at Westminster - well knows.

It spent more than £15,000 in legal fees as it moved between one Cardiff Bay office (Discovery House) and another, one third of a mile away (Caspian Point).

Wales Office Minister Stephen Crabb revealed that law firm Geldards invoiced the department for £10,242, £2,509 and £2,500 last year after "the department sought legal advice relating to the relocation of our Cardiff office".

A Wales Office spokesperson explained: ‪ ‪"The legal advice included advice on vacating the Wales Office's previous accommodation, at Discovery House, before the end of our lease, and negotiating leases to occupy Caspian Point. This included leases for the Wales Office's accommodation on the fourth floor, and the Silk Commission's accommodation on the third floor. "As we disclosed in our 2011-12 annual report we are paying 11 per cent less rent per year as a result of our move to Caspian Point."

That won't be the only legal bill facing the Wales Office for 2012. Mr Crabb said: "The department also obtained external legal advice during 2012 on matters relating to the boundary of the Welsh devolution settlement. The Wales Office is yet to be invoiced for payment for this advice."