Arthur Cox tops list as Nama pays law firms €39m in fees

Nama building
Nama building
Finance minister Paschal Donohoe

Nama has paid out more than €39m in fees to Irish and international law firms since 2010 according to new figures.

Unsurprisingly, it’s the country’s top-flight legal eagles that emerge as the biggest beneficiaries of the State agency’s involvement in litigation and use of legal services in the wake of the crash.

Arthur Cox tops the list of earners from the so-called ‘bad bank’ with a total of €3,382,895 paid to the firm for work carried out between 2010 and the end of March this year. Separately, the firm’s Belfast office was paid a total of €204,289 for its services in the same period.

Solicitors Eugene F Collins are the second-highest earners from Nama with fees of €2,973,969 between 2012 and this year.

McCann Fitzgerald comes in at third place on the list with its Dublin-headquartered operations and London office paid totals of €2,714,340 and €123,663 respectively. In the case of the company’s UK office, the fees were paid for services provided solely in 2013.

The fourth-highest earners are A&L Goodbody Solicitors with €1,968,408 in fees paid between 2010 and this year; followed by Matheson (€1,598,971); Allen & Overy LLP (€1,519,968); DLA Piper UK LLP (€1,264,172); Beauchamps Solicitors (€1,258,730).

The ninth-highest earner on the list is the US-based firm of McCarter & English LLP. The majority of its fee income of €1,199,269 stems from its pursuit on Nama’s behalf of the developer Sean Dunne from his declaration of bankruptcy in Connecticut in 2013 up to the end of 2016.

A breakdown of the payments made to the firm show that it received €835,058 from Nama in 2013, €276,367 in 2014, €8,796 in 2015 and €79,048 in 2016.

Tenth on the list of Nama’s highest legal earners are William Fry Solicitors with total fees of €1,184,227 paid to them from 2010 to the end of 2016.

Maples & Calder are next with total payments of €1,160,181 between 2011 and the end of March this year, followed by Byrne Wallace which received €1,066,884 in the same period.

Other high-profile legal firms on the list include Cork-headquartered Ronan Daly Jermyn Solicitors which received a total of €887,561 between 2011 and this year, Eversheds O’Donnell Sweeney which received €807,156 for work carried out between 2010 and 2015, Mason Hayes & Curran which was paid €545,593 between 2011 and 2017, and LK Shields which received a total of €339,374 between 2011 and 2016.

The figures were obtained by Independent TD Mick Wallace in response to a parliamentary question submitted to Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe, pictured.

In his reply, Mr Donohoe noted that the total of €39,048,516 does not include fees recoverable from the developers on Nama’s books.

“I am advised by Nama that the figures do not include recoverable fees, ie legal fees that Nama has incurred on behalf of debtors that are added to debtor loan balances,” he said.

Mr Donohoe, pictured, said that information was now being compiled by Nama and would be provided to the Wexford politician shortly.

News of the legal fees incurred by Nama comes just a week on from Mr Donohoe’s provision of figures to Deputy Wallace showing that the agency paid out a massive €115.39m to receivers over the past seven years.

The highest earner in this regard was Grant Thornton which received a total of €17.28m for work carried out by its Irish and UK arms.

KPMG received €13m in fees, Duff & Phelps got €10.24m, RSM Ireland/Baker Tilly got €9.7m, PwC received €7.98m, Mazars received €7.43m and Deloitte got €7m.

Minister Donohoe also confirmed that BDO received €6.35m while EY (formerly Ernest & Young) received €5.14m.

Irish Independent

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