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Legal advice (2021)


The total costs of legal advice sought by John Bercow during his tenure as Speaker, with a breakdown of all costs, the dates billed and the purpose for which advice was sought.




Some information is held by the House of Commons in relation to your request.

The Speaker receives legal advice from in-house legal professionals in the Office of the Speaker’s Counsel, each of whom are employed by the House of Commons. The Office of Speaker’s Counsel advises Committees and all departments of the House. The costs of legal advice specifically to the Speaker cannot be disaggregated from total costs of employing members of the Office of Speaker’s Counsel, and are therefore not held.

However, during Mr Bercow’s term as Speaker, fees were paid to an independent barrister on three occasions:

Date received Amount
12 March 2019 £2,910
16 May 2019 £3,240
18 September 2019 £1,950
Total £8,100

On each occasion, the spending related to oral advocacy and written submissions required for the litigation in the High Court and the Court of Appeal in R (Heathrow Hub) v Secretary of State for Transport. In this case, the Speaker intervened formally to raise issues relating to parliamentary privilege.