THE Law Society will have to pay the €100,000 costs of a Supreme Court appeal it brought against two Dublin solicitors who admitted operating secret accounts to evade tax.
Solicitors Colm Carroll and Henry Colley are entitled to have their costs of the appeal, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday.
The Law Society had brought an appeal to the Supreme Court against a High Court refusal to strike them off but lost.
Both solicitors were guilty of the "most serious misconduct" which damaged the reputation of the profession and were now effectively seeking to have their solicitor colleagues pay their Supreme Court costs, one of the three-judge court's members, Mr Justice Joseph Finnegan, said yesterday.
The judge also remarked that the bringing of the costs application was not indicative of remorse.
Counsel for Mr Carroll said the solicitors were seeking only the Supreme Court appeal costs and had not appealed against an order requiring them to pay the society's much more substantial costs in the High Court.
Counsel for the Law Society asked the Supreme Court to make no order for costs of the appeal, meaning each side would pay its own costs.
Giving the costs ruling yesterday, the Supreme Court said both sides had advanced genuine arguments.
However, as the solicitors had to pay the society's costs in the High Court and it was the society's decision to bring the appeal, which need not have been brought, the court would award the appeal costs against the society.
The society had argued that the conduct of Mr Colley and Mr Carroll, who were partners and principals in the firm of Roger Greene & Sons, Bridge Street, Dublin, justified strike off orders.
Mr Carroll has retired and Mr Colley is still a solicitor.
Both men had admitted multiple breaches of solicitors' regulations and operating secret accounts, one involving lodgments of at least €32m made over a three-year period.
They eventually made a €7m tax settlement.