Barrister received over €½m State fees
One barrister last year received over €500,000 in fees for carrying out work on behalf of the State in the civil courts, new figures show.
According to Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Emily Farrell received €519,772 (inc VAT) in fees last year.
In a written Dáil response to Fianna Fáil’s Niall Collins, Mr Kenny confirmed that €9.5 million was paid to barristers acting in the civil courts on behalf of the Government and other State authorities in 2012.
Last year’s payout represents a 7 per cent drop on the €10.2 million paid in fees in 2011 and a 46 per cent reduction on the €17.7 million paid out in fees in 2008.
The reduction in fees follows Minister for Justice Alan Shatter confirming that criminal legal aid payments declined by 10 per cent last year from €56.1 million to €50.5 million.
The figures concerning the amount paid in 2012 by the Chief State Solicitor’s Office and the Attorney General’s office show that four other barristers received in excess of €200,000.
The figures how that Siobhan Stack received €338,603, with David Conlan Smyth receiving €252,225 and Anthony Moore receiving €208,122.
The fourth to receive in excess of €200,000 was one of the counsel to represent the Government in the Marie Fleming right-to-die case, Shane Murphy SC, who received €206,225 last year. Mr Murphy also represented the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation in its contempt action against Sean Quinn.
The figures show that the top 10 earning barristers received an aggregate €2.4 million. Over the past five years, the figures show that barristers have received a total of €81.1 million from the State.
One of the top earners from last year was Robert Barron SC, who received €195,088. Last year, Mr Barron represented the Minister for Justice in the successful Supreme Court appeal by Ian Bailey against his extradition to France in connection with the 1996 murder of Sophie Toscan du Plantier.
Another high earner was high-profile barrister Paul Anthony McDermott, who received €116,965.
The Chief State’s Solicitor’s office has increased the number of junior and senior counsel briefed by the State.