Businessman Philip Lynch barred for insider trading

Lynch faces five-year ban from financial services and €75,000 fine over C&C share purchase

The president of the High Court has confirmed a number of penalties on high-profile businessman Philip Lynch for insider dealing.

Mr Lynch, a former chairman of An Post, the founding chief executive of listed investment group One51 and long-time boss of another listed business, IAWS, is the first person in Ireland to have been found to have engaged in insider dealing.

A panel of assessors set up by the Central Bank recommended earlier this year he would be fined €75,000, disqualified from being involved in a regulated financial services company for five years, publicly cautioned and would have to pay €37,500 towards the bank’s costs.

The panel was set up in 2013 under the EU Market Abuse Regulations 2005. Last January it recommended the sanctions after finding Mr Lynch had contravened the regulations by using inside information to acquire 200,000 C&C shares for the account of his approved retirement fund.


On Monday, Ms Justice Mary Irvine confirmed the sanctions after she was told Mr Lynch was not opposing the application.

Remy Farrell SC, for the Central Bank, said this was the first such application under the relevant regulation. The regulations provided that the bank could apply to the court for confirmation of the sanctions if there had not been an appeal against the finding, as had happened in this case, he said.

The application was grounded on an affidavit of Louise Gallagher, the Central Bank’s head of enforcement investigations division, who said that, following a substantive hearing before the panel of assessors in September last year, they found it had been proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr Lynch was in possession of inside information when he bought the 200,000 shares on October 21st, 2008.

The court heard the disqualification of Mr Lynch would take place from the date of the court order.

Marcus Dowling SC, for Mr Lynch, said it was recorded by the assessor that this was an atypical instance of inside trading in that it was not done for his client to make immediate gains and he had to hold the shares for a year. However, the point was that if there was any ambiguity, Mr Lynch “should have exercised more caution and not have dealt [in the shares]”.

Ms Justice Irvine said she had read the papers and the bank was entitled to the orders sought based on the evidence presented.

She made no order as to the costs of the hearing, which means both sides pay their own costs.