Judge to receive report next week relating to documents seized from FAI in 2020

Review will make recommendations on what documents and material is deemed covered by legal privilege

The action was brought after some 280,000 files covering a 17-year period were seized by the ODCE as part of its investigation into the FAI.

The action was brought after some 280,000 files covering a 17-year period were seized by the ODCE as part of its investigation into the FAI.

 

The High Court will receive a report next week with recommendations about what documents seized by the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) from the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) should be deemed covered by legal privilege.

Many of the documents relate to the FAI’s former CEO, John Delaney. The report, compiled by two independent barristers, Niall Nolan and Patrick Mair, will be delivered to Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds next Monday.

It will make recommendations on what documents and material should be deemed legally professional privileged, meaning they cannot be used by the ODCE as part of a criminal investigation into certain events at the FAI.

Proceedings

The report arises out of proceedings brought by the ODCE against the FAI, with UK-based Mr Delaney a notice party

The action was brought after some 280,000 files covering a 17-year period were seized by the ODCE as part of its investigation.

The High Court has been asked to determine which of that material is covered by legal privilege. To assist the court in its determination, the two barristers were appointed as independent persons to review materials over which claims of legal privilege are made by Mr Delaney

Claims of legal professional privilege have been made by the FAI over approximately 1,000 documents and by Mr Delaney over 3500 documents.

On Tuesday, the judge was told the report to be provided on Monday to the court and parties only will not contain any of the documents over which LPP is claimed.

The court heard there are some issues to be resolved between the sides, including the ODCE’s concerns about what information it will receive.

The court heard that discussions are to take place between the parties to try and resolve these matters.

The matter was adjourned to Tuesday next week.

Application

The judge, welcoming the efforts to narrow the issues, said the court may have to revisit Mr Delaney’s earlier application, which she had refused, for the proceedings to be held in camera.

The report could raise issues of sensitivity, she noted.

Mr Delaney’s lawyers have sought the in camera order over his concerns media reporting of the proceedings may result in legally privileged information being wrongfully put into the public domain. His application is opposed by media outlets including the Sunday Times newspaper.

In March, Ms Justice Reynolds ruled the proceedings should remain in public as there was nothing before the court at that stage that would allow it hear the action in private.