The Bloody Sunday Inquiry is moving to London in September, which will save the UK taxpayer £50,000 a week and £1.7m a year in legal fees
The inquiry is expected to finish in 2004, when it will return to Londonderry for the closing stages of the hearings, which means that just under £3.5m could potentially be shaved off the legal fees. The inquiry is moving to London to hear the evidence of soldiers who have been called as witnesses, as the safety risk of returning the soldiers to Londonderry is too high. The 18 barristers, including Michael Mansfield QC, who have to travel to Londonderry from London are paid a Londonderry weighting of £100 per hour on top of their fees. They will not receive this perk when the inquiry moves to London. The total cost of the inquiry to the taxpayer so far is around £50m, with at least £11m on various legal costs. An additional £10.8m has been paid to Eversheds for its work interviewing witnesses for the inquiry. However, this will not be a recurring cost. According to an inquiry spokesperson, there are 12 London-based barristers acting for the soldiers, led by Edwin Glasgow QC of 39 Essex Street. There are four tribunal barristers and at least two barristers for the families - Michael Mansfield QC and Lord Gifford QC - who are based in London. Mansfield is reported to have already earned just under £300,000 from the inquiry. Barristers recently tried to get a £250-a-day uplift, but this move was challenged and eventually refused.