Nama seeks experts' advice in legal action

 

THE NATIONAL Asset Management Agency has turned to Trinity College economists Philip Lane and Dermot McAleese to help support the agency’s case in the legal action taken by property developer Paddy McKillen.

Prof Lane, a professor of international macroeconomics at the university, and Prof McAleese, a professor of political economy, have sworn affidavits for Nama.

The statements were filed in the judicial review proceedings at the end of last month in response to an affidavit filed by Mr McKillen last month setting out his grievances with Nama’s purchase of his loans.

Prof Lane declined to comment, while Prof McAleese could not be contacted last night.

The academics’ affidavits are thought to address specific issues raised by Mr McKillen in his statement rather than provide an assessment of the merits of the Government’s plan to purchase impaired assets from the banks.

It is understood that the academics were approached by the Chief State Solicitor’s Office to provide expert opinion in the case, which is being managed for Nama by the Attorney General’s office.

Mr McKillen and 15 of his companies issued proceedings against Nama, Ireland and the Attorney General last month in the first legal challenge against the agency.

Senior Nama officials – Brendan McDonagh, the agency’s chief executive, John Mulcahy, head of portfolio management, and Aideen O’Reilly, head of legal – have also filed affidavits. Matthew Webster and Ian Goldsworthy, senior executives at UK investment bank HSBC, financial advisers to Nama, have also provided statements.

Mr McKillen’s legal team are due to submit expert statements next month, ahead of the hearing of the action in early October.