Wednesday 16 October 2019

State legal and expert fees top €7m in Apple case

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. Photo: Getty
European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. Photo: Getty

Gordon Deegan

The State has paid €7.1m (including Vat) in fees to lawyers and experts in relation to the European Commission's €13bn ruling on state aid to tech giant Apple.

According to the latest figures provided by the Department of Finance, legal firm William Fry has received €3.1m in fees over the past five years concerning its work on the case.

In addition, external counsel have been paid €2.56m for their work.

According to a spokeswoman at the Department of Finance, "these figures include costs incurred in relation to the EU Commission's investigation, as well as the appeal of the Commission's final decision, and the costs associated with the State's legal obligation to recovery the alleged aid".

The spokeswoman said that €3.7m of the €7.1m relates to the recovery process of the monies.

She said: "This includes all legal costs, consultancy fees and other associated costs."

She stated that the fees "have been paid by the Department of Finance, Revenue Commissioners, NTMA, Central Bank of Ireland, Attorney General's Office and Chief State Solicitor's Office".

The further breakdown of the fees shows that €528,470 has been paid to McCann Fitzgerald and €595,400 to PWC.

The European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager found in 2016 that the State had granted state aid worth €13bn to Apple.

Both Apple and the State have appealed the commission's decision.

Last September, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe confirmed that Apple deposited in full the €13.1bn owed in disputed taxes into an escrow account set up by the Government.

In total, Apple deposited a total of €14.3bn into the account - which represents the full recovery €13.1bn plus EU interest of €1.2bn.

Separately, the Department of Finance has confirmed that last year it paid Indecon €438,253 for four separate economic consultancy reports.

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