Business Irish

Saturday 14 December 2019

Arthur Cox hoovers up fees at O Riordain firms

Nick Webb

Law firm Arthur Cox continues to hoover up fees from companies where its former managing partner Padraig O Riordain is a board member.

Last week, the semi-state Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) revealed that it had forked out close to €1.2m in fees to Arthur Cox. O Riordain is the chairman of DAA.

The corporate lawyer was appointed to the €31,500-per-year post of chairman of Dublin Airport Authority by Fine Gael Transport Minister Leo Varadkar in early 2012.

Arthur Cox has earned €2.6m in fees from DAA since O Riordain's appointment. The law firm had been an adviser to the DAA prior to his appointment to the board.

The DAA said: "The chairman, Mr Padraig O Riordain, is a partner in Arthur Cox, a law firm which provides legal services to the Group.

"However, as Mr O Riordain has no involvement in either the procurement by the Group of such services or the provision of legal services to the Group, his partnership in the firm is not considered to compromise his independence."

Arthur Cox also acts for DAA's biggest client, Aer Lingus. Last year, Aer Lingus paid out over €6.1m in legal fees to advisers. Arthur Cox has a well-established process for dealing with potential conflicts of interests.

O Riordan is a board member at Paddy Power, which paid Arthur Cox €318,894 in fees last year, on top of €659,418 the previous year. Arthur Cox also earned €159,000 in fees from Shane Reihill's TVC Holdings, where O Riordain is also a board member.

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