Accounts reveal fees for Reed Smith and Bakers on Jimmy Savile inquiry

Reed Smith was paid £893,500 by the BBC for advice on an independent review of the corporation’s handling of the Jimmy Savile scandal, accounts have revealed.

A breakdown of the costs of the Pollard Review – the inquiry led by former Sky News head Nick Pollard into why a Newsnight report on Savile was dropped – were released earlier this week.

Reed Smith received the largest sum of the £2.1m awarded by the BBC executive team, which also included £391,000 paid to cover witnesses’ legal costs and a further £492,000 for external legal support.

Separately, the BBC Trust’s costs for its external legal support – which totalled £361,000 – went to sole adviser Baker & McKenzie.

Bakers partners Tom Cassels and Joanna Ludlum advise the Trust on all competition, public law and regulatory matters. The firm declined to comment on the matter.

Commercial disputes head Richard Spafford was the lead partner for Reed Smith on the mandate, leading a team that included disputes partners Carolyn Pepper and Ben Summerfield and associates Victoria Walker and Hyun-Jung Kim.

In a statement, the firm said it was first instructed to provide secretariat advice to the Pollard and Dame Janet Smith reviews in October 2012, in relation to the collection and consideration of evidence and the preparation of reports.

Costs for the Dame Janet Smith review have not yet been released, though the BBC said the cost of all Savile-related inquiries stood at £4.9m at 31 March this year.

Reed Smith’s appointment to advise the Pollard Review came under scrutiny last October when Conservative MP Rob Wilson questioned Pollard’s appointment of the firm, given the BBC is a longstanding client.