NAMA paid €5.65m in legal fees last year

Dublin-based legal firm McCann Fitzgerald last year received €1.54m in legal fees from the National Asset Management Agency.

That is according to new figures provided by the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe in a written Dáil reply to Solidarity-People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett.

In the figures provided by Mr Donohoe, NAMA last year paid €5.65 million to legal firms – representing a 25% decrease on the €7.5m paid out to legal companies in 2018.

A €1.74m drop in fees to McCann Fitzgerald accounted for the largest proportion of the overall drop.

The figures show that McCann Fitzgerald was paid €3.29m in 2018 by NAMA and this declined to €1.54m last year.

In a separate Dáil response to a question by Mr Boyd Barrett, Mr Donohoe confirmed that last year the Revenue Commissioners paid €7.36m to legal firms.

The €7.36m represents a 29% increase on the €5.89m paid out by Revenue to legal firms in 2018.

However, the individual payments to the firms employed by Revenue are not provided.

In relation to the payments made by NAMA to legal firms only one other company, Hogan Lovells International LLP, received over €1m.

Only one other legal firm, A&L Goodbody Solicitors, received fees between €500,000 and €1m at €724,000.

Four other legal firms received fees in excess of €200,000:

Finn Dixon & Herling LLP received €321,000; Arthur Cox Solicitors received €283,000; Matheson received €254,000 and Hayes Solicitors €210,000.

Separately, Mr Donohoe confirmed to Mr Boyd Barrett that last year the Central Bank paid audit and consultancy companies €2m – down sharply on the €4.96m paid out to audit and consultancy companies in 2018.

The figures show that the Central Bank last year paid Deloitte €1.14m, Mazars was paid €597,000; PricewaterhouseCoopers €161,000; Ernst & Young €112,000; Grant Thornton €112,000 and KPMG €5,000.

The €110,000 paid to Grant Thornton last year compares to €2.34m paid out to the company by the Central Bank in 2018, while the €112,000 paid out to Ernst & Young last year compares to the €1.3m paid out to that company in 2018.

Mr Donohoe stated: “Mazars provides the Central Bank’s audit services.”

In a separate Dáil written reply to Sinn Féin’s Finance spokesman Pearse Doherty TD, Mr Donohoe confirmed that it is likely that Covid-19 will have some impact on the timing and amount of forecasted payments beyond 2020 by NAMA of its surplus to the State, but it is too early to estimate what the overall impact may be.

Mr Donohoe stated: “In addition to the €2 billion to be transferred in 2020, it is currently estimated that the residual surplus of €1.7bn will be paid to the Exchequer during 2021 and 2022.”

He stated: “Forecasts for payments in 2021 and beyond are contingent on the projected surplus of €4 billion remaining unchanged and favourable market conditions that may determine the timing and disposal proceeds of residual assets.”

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