Tuesday 12 December 2017

Former NIB chief Lacey banned from heading firms for nine years

COURTS

Tim Healy

THE High Court has disqualified former National Irish Bank (NIB) boss Jim Lacey from involvement in the management of any company for nine years.

The Director of Corporate Enforcement sought a disqualification order against Mr Lacey under Section 160 of the Companies Act arising out of his conduct as CEO and director of NIB between 1988 and 1994.

In a judgment last April, Mr Justice Roderick Murphy found various breaches of duties by Mr Lacey during that time were "grossly negligent".

Mr Lacey's conduct fell below the required standard and "constituted a fundamental failure of governance", the judge said. Mr Lacey, of Pine Haven, Grove House Gardens, Blackrock, Co Dublin, should be disqualified on grounds of unfitness, the judge ruled.

The question of penalty was adjourned until yesterday when the judge said that the "appropriate period of disqualification was nine years".

The judge said matters "were brought to Mr Lacey's attention, following internal audits," that should, but did not, result in changes being implemented.

After imposing the disqualification and awarding what are estimated to be substantial costs against Mr Lacey, the court was was told he intended to appeal the judgment to the Supreme Court.

Integrity

Maurice Collins, counsel for the director, said his client was "not advocating any particular period of suspension."

Mr Lacey, counsel said, was not applying to be allowed stay on as a director of a particular company. Mr Collins added that Mr Lacey's solicitors had informed the director that their client had resigned any directorships he had held in any Irish registered companies.

Declan McGrath, counsel for Mr Lacey, said since his client left NIB, he had been engaged in consultative work as a "senior banking specialist".

Mr McGrath added that since engaging in that work there has been "no criticism whatsoever," of Mr Lacey's "work, competence, ability or his integrity".

Irish Independent

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