Tuesday 24 April 2018

Legal bill cut 75pc in promissory note case

Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

AN INDEPENDENT regulator has slashed a bill charged by IBRC's lawyers on the promissory note case by 75pc.

Dublin law firm McCann Fitzgerald charged €27,000 for defending the early stages of a case taken against the bad bank by David Hall. Mr Hall's case, still ongoing, challenges the legality of last year's promissory note deal.

The €27,000 bill relates to the early stages of this action, where IBRC was removed as a defendant at a "for mention" preliminary hearing.

Costs were awarded against Mr Hall for this part of the case, meaning he was made responsible for IBRC's legal fees. He brought the fees to the Taxing Master, the independent body who can reduce (or increase) legal bills as it feels necessary.

The Taxing Master reduced the bill from €27,000 to around €6,000. Taxing Master Declan O'Neill said there should be no allowance for junior counsel at this point in a case in addition to senior counsel.

Mr O'Neill also said it was not necessary for the State's lawyers to prepare for more complex parts of the case given its early stage.

"The question is, will IBRC be seeking a refund?" said Mr Hall yesterday. "This is about how the State spends money." Mr Hall said the State needs to question every legal bill it pays.

EBS, also removed as a defendant in the case, was charged just €8,000 by its solicitors Arthur Cox. EBS has not pursued David Hall for its legal costs.

Irish Independent

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