Nama runs up €2.8m in legal defence fees

Nama has run up fees of €2.8m to date in defending claims against it in the courts.
Nama runs up €2.8m in legal defence fees

According to Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, legal proceedings have been issued against Nama or a Nama group entity in 66 cases, of which 40 cases are ongoing.

In a written Dáil response to Fianna Fáil’s finance spokesman Michael McGrath, Mr Noonan said 26 cases have been completed and “25 of those completed cases resulted in a favourable outcome for Nama, whilst one case resulted in a partly favourable outcome for Nama”.

Providing a list of legal firms to receive fees of over €100,000 from Nama for the work, Mr Noonan confirmed that Gartlan Furey, A&L Goodbody, William Fry, McCann Fitzgerald, Ronan Daly Jermyn, McCarter English, and Hudson Parker received fees over that amount.

Mr Noonan also confirmed that Nama’s high success rate in the cases taken against it in the courts has resulted in the agency recovering €2.6m in legal costs from those cases.

He said: “In the cases which have had successful outcomes for Nama, arrangements relating to costs are usually made either as an order for costs awarded by the courts, or alternatively, the parties reach an agreement on their respective costs as part of the overall resolution of the case.”

In confirming the €2.6m recovered in legal costs, Mr Noonan said that “in respect of costs orders outstanding, a number of those are currently at taxation”.

In response, Mr McGrath said: “Nama has proven to be a lucrative source of revenue for a variety of professional advisers, not least legal firms engaged by the agency to defend litigation. It was inevitable given the task mandated to Nama and the complex commercial matters it had to deal with that it would come into legal conflict on many occasions.”

Mr McGrath said: “It is vital that every necessary step is taken to ensure Nama gets value for money in its legal representation and that money is recouped when claims against the agency prove to be unsuccessful.

“To ensure competitive rates are secured, it is essential that Nama uses a variety of legal firms with the requisite expertise to represent it in legal cases.”

Separately, Mr Noonan confirmed that “the Nama board has carried out a preliminary, high-level analysis of development sites controlled by its debtors and receivers with a view to identifying the scope for residential delivery over the five-year period to the end of 2020”.

Mr Noonan said: “Based on this preliminary analysis, the board has informed me that a delivery target of 20,000 residential units before the end of 2020 is potentially achievable.

“This 20,000 is in addition to the 2,000 units delivered prior to my budget announcement in October.”

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