NTMA paid Arthur Cox €9.4m for advice
The National Treasury Management Agency and the National Pensions Reserve Fund incurred combined legal costs of some €15 million between 2008 and the end of last year.
The NTMA banking unit, which has since been transferred into the Department of Finance, paid some €9.4 million to Arthur Cox for legal advice relating to the restructuring of the banking sector in a two year period.
The figures show that the firm received a single payment of more than €8.4 million from the banking unit in 2011 for advice on the matter and €920,967 for same in 2010.
Matheson Ormsby Prentice received the only other payment made by the unit, a fee of €69,810 for advice on bank restructuring in 2011.
Some €4.4 millon of the legal fees incurred by the banking unit were later recouped from financial institutions.
A spokesman for the NTMA , which provides asset and liability management services to Government, confirmed that the payments made by the banking unit were not tendered for.
In its reply to a parliamentary question from Sinn Féin TD Mary Lou McDonald, the NTMA said: “Prior to the establishment of the legal panel, the banking unit utilised the services of Arthur Cox who had been previously instructed by the Department of Finance on legal issues related to the banking sector prior to delegation of banking system functions to the NTMA.”
The NTMA figures show legal costs of almost €1.2 million were incurred in 2009 and 2010 when Nama was created under its aegis.
Arthur Cox was the largest recipient (€946,004) for advice on the establishment of Nama, a tendered contract, as well as for human resource and property matters related to the agency. Legal firm Allen Overy (€147,531) received the second highest fees during the process.
Fees of some €3.74 million were paid out by the National Pensions Reserve Fund between 2008 and last year, with €2.5 million of this in connection with the banking crisis.
The reserve fund, managed by the NTMA, paid Arthur Cox some €1.945 million in 2009 for legal due diligence in connection with the recapitalisations of AIB and Bank of Ireland.
The work was not tendered for as “time was of the essence” and Arthur Cox had been engaged by the Department of Finance for work on the bank guarantee scheme.