Lawyers in Graham Dwyer trial got €1m in state fees

Payments by the State to barristers in the civil courts last year soared by 22% to €12m, figures show.

Lawyers in Graham Dwyer trial got €1m in state fees

Senior counsel Robert Barron SC received €290,053 (including Vat) in fees, with five other barristers receiving between €200,000 and €220,000.

The payments by the Chief State Solicitor at the Office of the Attorney General (AG) resulted in two of the barristers involved in the Graham Dwyer murder trial, Remy Farrell and Ann-Marie Lawlor receiving in excess of €500,000 each from the State last year.

Figures released in response to a freedom of information request show Mr Farrell last year received €179,349 for work on behalf of the AG.

It brought to €501,956 the amount Mr Farrell received in state fees in 2015 after criminal legal aid payments of €195,439 and fees of €127,168 from the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) are taken into account.

Mr Farrell was Mr Dwyer’s lead defence counsel in the case.

Ann Marie Lawlor served on the DPP’s team in the trial and the €219,6143 Ms Lawlor received from the AG last year in fees brought her total to €580,015 in State fees last year.

Separate figures show Ms Lawlor received €193,418 in DPP fees along with criminal legal aid payments of €166,984.

The overall payments of €12m by the AG to barristers last year compares to €9.8m paid out in 2014.

The figures released also show barristers who acted for the State in the long-running Ian Bailey High Court case feature on the list.

The four barristers in the case Luan O’Braonain, Paul O’Higgins, David Lennon, and Paul Anthony McDermott shared €1.2m in state fees paid over 2014 and 2015 from Mr Bailey-related cases.

The AG figures show Mr O’Braonain had received €197,410 in fees across four cases — not all relating to Mr Bailey; similarly Paul O’Higgins received €185,859 for work in three cases, while Mr McDermott received €130,228 for work in 16 cases, and Mr Lennon received €121,597 for one case.

The most in-demand barrister by the AG’s office last year in terms of number of cases was Fiona O’Sullivan BL who received €215,442 in 70 cases.

The figures show in two separate court cases in 2015, payments to barristers exceeded €570,000 in each case, though the identity of the cases is not disclosed.

The most expensive court case cost the taxpayer €573,654 in fees and the second most expensive was €572,352.

The table shows that fees to former tánaiste Michael McDowell last year increased, going from €38,644 in 2014 to €66,045.

Mr McDowell — currently bidding for a seat in the Seanad — received the fees for working on four different cases.

Mr McDowell retired from politics in 2007 after losing his Dáil seat and returned to his legal career at the Law Library.

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.

War of Independence Podcast

A special four-part series hosted by Mick Clifford

Available on
www.irishexaminer.com/podcasts

Commemorating 100 years since the War of Independence