herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

NAMA forks out nearly €28m in lawyers' fees

NAMA has paid out a massive €27.55 million on legal bills since it was set up in 2009.

The controversial "bad bank" spent €16.46m on legal fees to Irish and international firms in 2011, €9.75m in 2010 and more than €1.35m so far in 2012.

Dublin based law firm, Arthur Cox, is the highest paid to date: it has received €3.07m from NAMA so far.

A total of €2.93m was paid to international legal firm Hogan Lovells and €2.47m to London practice Allen & Overy.

Arthur Cox received €1.9m in 2010 and €1.16m in 2011.

The figures were sent by the NAMA chief executive Brendan McDonagh to Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, who in a Dail question sought a breakdown of the "Top 10" recipients of fees.

Mr Adams said: "The only people who appear to be benefitting from NAMA are the legal and accounting professions."

The other firms in the top 10 were Maples and Calder (€2.05m), Matheson Ormsby Prentice (€1.58m), Byrne Wallace (€1.51m), William Fry (€1.45m), A&L Goodbody (€1.37m), Dillon Eustace (€1.19m), and Beauchamps (€1.17m), the Irish Times reported today.



Loans

The NAMA chief executive also told Mr Adams that NAMA had recovered €10.14m of the €27.55m paid to date from the financial institutions as it related to due diligence and loan acquisition.

NAMA was established on December 21, 2009 and the Agency says it has acquired loans (land and development and associated loans) with a nominal value of €72.3 bn.

NAMA paid consideration of €30.5 bn for this portfolio, an average discount of 58pc, its website adds.

A NAMA spokesman said it had saved the State a large multiple of the legal costs incurred.

"The legal costs incurred in 2010 and 2011 relate to legal due diligence conducted on loans which NAMA acquired from the participating institutions," he said.

"Arising from these reviews, questions were raised about the enforceability of security in certain cases and as a result, legal discounts amounting to €368m were imposed; this reduced correspondingly the acquisition cost of the loans."

mlavery@herald.ie

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