Government legal bills have surged to a four-year high, with Brexit driving a billing bonanza for City law firms advising Whitehall, research has revealed.
Over the past four years, government departments have spent nearly £1 billion on fees to external lawyers.
Whitehall’s legal costs leapt by 27 per cent to more than £237 million over the past year. Last year was the highest expenditure as the UK left the bloc, with the second highest in 2016-17, the year of the referendum vote on membership.
Researchers attributed the rising expenditure of taxpayer funds to lawyers as the result of “administrative changes resulting from the UK leaving the EU”.
They pointed to previous research showing that about 100,000 amendments were made to legislation from 2018 until the