Solicitor's legal bill slashed by €195,000
A LEGAL bill from the solicitors representing Fr Kevin Reynolds in his libel case against RTE has been cut by €195,000.
The reduction in the bill of Fr Reynolds's solicitor Robert Dore and his firm, Dore and Company, was imposed by High Court Taxing Master Declan O'Neill yesterday.
RTE will pay the costs as part of the settlement of the action brought against it by Fr Reynolds over defamation in the 'Prime Time Investigates: Mission to Prey' programme.
The settlement involved a public apology to the priest and a €1m payment.
Dore and Company had sought an instruction fee of €275,000.
During the taxation hearing, Mr Dore described as "insulting" RTE's assessment of the instruction fee as €44,750 and said that grossly underestimated the value of his work.
The instruction fee sought by Mr Dore was reduced by Mr O'Neill to €80,000 after taking into account factors including the nature and extent of work involved and the economic downturn.
He reduced the brief fees of senior counsels Jack Fitzgerald and Frank Callanan to €26,000.
He assessed the brief fee of junior counsel Miriam Reilly at €20,000.
During the hearing, Mr Dore said that the amount of time spent on the case by his firm was "enormous".
In his ruling, Mr O'Neill said he had carried out a full review of the nature and extent of the solicitor's work.
Mr O'Neill said the 140 hours estimated by RTE as having been spent by Mr Dore on the case was "too light".
He was satisfied that a fair and reasonable instruction fee was €80,000.