Central Bank, Revenue payouts to lawyers and accountants revealed

Revenue and Central Bank paid €59m in legal and accounting fees over three years

The Central Bank offices in Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

The Central Bank offices in Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

The Central Bank and Revenue have paid out €59 million in fees to legal and accountancy service providers since the start of 2018.

New figures provided by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe confirm that the spend by Revenue on legal and accounting services for the period from January 2018 to the end of last month totals €35.3 million.

The spend by the Central Bank on accounting and legal service providers amounts to €23.7 million during the same period.

Last year Revenue’s spend on legal and accounting service providers totalled €11.8 million.

This follows a payout of €12.2 million in 2019 and €10.5 million in 2018.

In a written Dáil reply to Richard Boyd Barrett of Solidarity-People Before Profit, Mr Donohoe confirmed that the highest amount over the three-year period has been paid by Revenue to Ivor Fitzpatrick & Co Solicitors, which received €3 million.

Mason Hayes & Curran was paid €2.49 million, Denis I Finn Solicitors was paid €2.2 million and Kirby Healy was paid €2 million.

Other firms to receive more than €1 million from Revenue over the period were Byrne Wallace LLP (€1.8 million), Holmes O’Malley Sexton (€1.7 million); and Pierse Fitzgibbon (€1.47 million).

Barristers’ fees

The figures also show that during the period, three barristers were paid fees of more than €800,000. They include Gráinne Clohessy SC, who was paid €958,928, including €452,660 last year.

Between January 2018 and the end of February 2021, Conor Bourke BL received €912,687, including €391,519 last year; and Fergus Ryan BL received €891,063. 

Others to receive more than €500,000 are RSM Ireland (€884,915); Aidan Garcia (€638,182); Aoife Goodman SC (€634,644); Jacqueline O’Brien SC (€621,920); Noel Travers SC (€550,722); Benedict Ó Floinn (€538,495) and Ciaran Ramsey SC (€535,855).

In a separate Dáil response to Mr Boyd Barrett, Mr Donohoe confirmed that last year the Central Bank paid out €4 million to legal and accountancy firms.

This was a sharp decrease on the outlay on accounting firms and legal firms over the previous two years, with €7.4 million spent in 2019 and €11.5 million in 2018.

Highest amount

The highest amount paid to an accounting firm over the three years was to Grant Thornton, which received €2.75 million, including €296,743 last year. Deloitte received €1.86 million, Mazars €1.66 million and EY €1.4 million.

The payments to accounting firms by the Central Bank last year totalled €1.3 million, compared with €2.1 million in 2019 and €4.95 million in 2019.

Last year the Central Bank paid out €2.7 million to legal service providers, and this followed a spend of €5.29 million in 2019.

However, the Central Bank has not provided the names of the legal service providers. 

Mr Donohoe stated that the Central Bank had told his department that the disclosure of payments to named firms “could prejudice legal proceedings”.