A COURT may have to forensically examine work done for €1.3m fees that are being sought by an insolvency specialist appointed special manager of a Kildare credit union, a judge said.
The total costs for Newbridge Credit Union's special manager, Luke Charleton of Ernst & Young, and his team and for lawyers, are expected to be close to €2m over 18 months.
He was appointed in January 2012 following concerns by the Central Bank about the credit union's financial position. His appointment runs until July.
From the point of view of a credit union with small depositors – who will have to pay the fees – the sums sought are "enormous", president of the High Court Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns said yesterday.
Mr Charleton's rates are now €375 an hour, with descending rates for staff, the court heard.
In opposing the latest fee application, the credit union's directors complained they were given an A4 page of hours worked by the special manager and his staff but neither that nor other material indicated precisely what work they were doing.
Mr Justice Kearns said, while recognising the "great value" of Mr Charleton's work, he was acutely conscious everyone was experiencing financial difficulties and the members needed assurance in a tangible way that the fees charged are reasonable and necessary.
If agreement could not be reached on fees, the court may have to engage in examining the nature of the work done "from A to Z" in special manager appointments, the judge indicated.
After discussions, Mr Fanning told the judge yesterday that Mr Charleton was offering to cut his fees by 5pc.
The case continues.