Saturday 1 October 2016

Lawyer gets €18,000 for seven days' work at the Bank Inquiry

Gordon Deegan

Published 04/08/2015 | 02:30

Charles Meenan, SC to the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry
Charles Meenan, SC to the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry

One lawyer received €18,223 in fees for seven days' work at the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry in April and May of this year.

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Charles Meenan SC received the €18,223 for attending Banking Inquiry hearings concerning the evidence provided by various bankers and the former financial regulator, Patrick Neary, on seven dates between April 22 and May 28.

Mr Meenan is present at the hearings to provide expert guidance to the inquiry on legal issues. Records obtained under Freedom of Information show that he received €42,569 in fees for work related to the inquiry in the second quarter of this year.

In the quarter between April and the end of June, more than €120,000 was paid to barristers and solicitors - this includes €25,543 paid to Beauchamps Solicitors.

But the Banking Inquiry has achieved an 8pc reduction in fees being paid to senior and junior counsel working on the inquiry.

Senior counsel had been receiving fees of €264 (ex-VAT) per hour and this has now been reduced by €21.12, to €242.88.

Junior counsel working on the inquiry had been receiving fees of €156 per hour and this has now been reduced by 8pc or €12.48 to €143.52 per hour.

Senator Martin Conway (FG) said the 8pc reduction in fees "is very welcome but the reduction doesn't go far enough".

The records relating to the €18,223 for the 61 hours work by Mr Meenan relate to the period when the chairman of Nama, Frank Daly, and its CEO Brendan McDonagh appeared.

There were also appearances by the former AIB chairman Dermot Gleeson, former AIB managing director Dermot Forde, former AIB CEOs Donal Buckley and Eugene Sheehy and the bank's current CEO, David Duffy.

Mr Meenan was also charging €242.88 per hour to be on hand to hear evidence from representatives of PwC and Ernst & Young.

He also earned his fees from attending hearings where current and former Central Bank officials gave evidence, on May 21 and May 27, along with hearing the evidence of the former financial regulator, Patrick Neary on May 28.

Mr Meenan also received fees for reviewing documentation, correspondence, statements and questions.

One other senior lawyer who received in excess of €20,000 between April and the end of June is Patrick McCann SC, who received €21,505, including VAT.

Sara Moorhead SC was charging the inquiry €275 per hour - since reduced by 8pc to €253 per hour - and received €1,244 (including VAT) for four hours' work in March.

Irish Independent

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