Michael Noonan confirms €26m was spent on Dept of Finance legal fees last year

The Department of Finance and agencies under its remit spent around €25.75m on legal fees last year.

That is according to Finance Minister Michael Noonan who confirmed that last year, the Central Bank spent €7.33m on legal fees.

However, in a written Dáil reply to Fine Gael Deputy John Deasy, Mr Noonan said that the Central Bank is declining to provide the names of the firms paid “due to potential identification of ongoing cases”.

This is in contrast to the policy at Nama, the Revenue Commissioners and other agencies under the minister’s remit that show the individual amounts paid to each individual and firm.

The figures show that Nama last year paid out €9.7m in legal fees with the two big winners being Dillon Eustace, which received €3.44m and A&L Goodbody, which received €2.32m.

Mr Noonan also revealed that Beauchamps Solicitors received €814,550 from Nama with Arthur Cox receiving €430,000; McDowell Purcell Solicitors receiving €306,750, and Quarles & Brady receiving €201,700.

Within Mr Noonan’s own department, he confirmed that the largest payments were last year made to William Fry solicitors which received €249,529, and Arthur Cox which received €237,982 — with both amounts partly recoupable.

In total, the Department of Finance paid out €740,000 in legal fees last year.

In addition, the Revenue Commissioners paid external legal firms €4.582m, with another €2.449m to barristers.

Mr Noonan said that figures detailing payments by the NTMA will be made available shortly.

He added that figures concerning the liquidation of the IBRC would be made available later in the year.

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