A British law firm has reportedly earned more than £20 million (AUD$40m) from advising the government on the global financial crisis in the past year.
Slaughter and May was paid the 'mind blowing' sum as ministers and treasury struggled to get to grips with crisis spured by a global credit crunch.
The figures were uncovered by the opposition who said it showed civil servants had been 'stung' at a huge costs to taxpayers.
“Even if the financial crisis meant that there was no time to shop around at the start for the best legal deal, the treasury should then have driven a much harder bargain, not left them like a fleet of legal taxis in Whitehall with their meters running for months on end..”
The figures show Slaughter and May, one of the world's top law firms, was paid £22.15m (AUD$44.3m) for 'financial stability related' advice during 2008/09.
In addition firms Allen and Overy received £713,000 (AUD$1.4m), Linklaters got £225,000 (AUD$450,000), Freshfields were paid £41,000 (AUD$82,000) and Clifford Chance received £1,000 (AUD$2000) for advice they provided.