BBC legal bill soars in year of Jimmy Savile scandal

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The BBC spent £9.1m on external legal advice during the last financial year, a freedom of information request has revealed.

According to The Sun, the higher legal bill for 2012/13 came on the back of the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal and is in addition to the annual £4.2m the corporation spends on its team of 58 in-house lawyers.

The BBC said the legal bill was only partly as a result of the investigations into Savile, emphasising that the costs come from "across all divisions in the BBC".

However, the total bill was higher than any during the last five years and represents an increase of 35 per cent compared to how much the corporation spent on external lawyers in 2011/12.

A spokesman for the TaxPayers’ Alliance told the Sun: “BBC bosses need to remember that every pound spent on expensive lawyers’ bills is one pound less spent on making programmes.”

Last month, the BBC’s annual report revealed that it spent £4.9 million on its own internal investigations into the Savile scandal and its aftermath. The bulk of the money was spent on the Pollard Review into why the corporation dropped a Newsnight investigation into the presenter.

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