John Delaney given two weeks to provide ODCE with certain details about litigation

Corporate watchdog seeking material in relation to ongoing criminal inquiry into FAI matters

The High Court has directed former Football Association of Ireland (FAI) chief executive John Delaney to provide the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) with certain details about legal actions he was involved in. Photograph: Laura Hutton

The High Court has directed former Football Association of Ireland (FAI) chief executive John Delaney to provide the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) with certain details about legal actions he was involved in. Photograph: Laura Hutton

 

The High Court has directed former Football Association of Ireland (FAI) chief executive John Delaney to provide the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) with certain details about legal actions he was involved in.

The ODCE has sought the information as part of its review into recommendations that some 1,100 documents, relating to the now UK-based Mr Delaney, seized by the corporate watchdog are covered by Legal Professional Privilege (LPP).

The recommendations were contained in a review by independent lawyers to help establish how many of the 280,000 documents seized are covered by LPP.

Any documents deemed covered by LPP cannot be used by the ODCE as part of its ongoing criminal investigation into certain matters at the FAI.

At the High Court on Friday, Kerida Naidoo SC, for the ODCE, said his client remained sceptical about assertions that 1,100 documents relating to Mr Delaney are covered by LPP. Mr Delaney has claimed that the documents contained certain legal advices given to him regarding litigation that occurred during the many years he was with the FAI, and therefore are covered by LPP.

The ODCE, which does not know what is contained in the documents, claims that LPP may not apply to many of them. This was because it appeared that some of material was sent to non-lawyers, the court heard.

Counsel said that the ODCE had sought information from Mr Delaney regarding the litigation in question. He had not provided it and the ODCE wanted an order from the court directing him to provide details, including what litigation relating to him remains outstanding.

The ODCE also want Mr Delaney to state the reasons why he thinks the litigation is outstanding, counsel added.

Counsel said that once it gets that material, the ODCE could make submissions to the court on whether the material is covered by LPP.

Paul McGarry SC, for Mr Delaney, said it would be difficult for his client to provide the information sought by the director. This was because some of the litigation occurred decades ago, and that his client did not have access to the files on the cases.

Counsel said that in order to comply with any direction from the court his client would require access to files seized by the ODCE, and some time to carry out the work. The court heard that the ODCE was not prepared to allow Mr Delaney’s lawyers access to the material.

Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds directed Mr Delaney to provide the ODCE with the information it sought regarding litigation involving him in the next two weeks.

She further directed that Mr Delaney’s lawyers be provided with access to the material seized by the ODCE so he could comply with the order. His lawyers are to be given access for a period of five days, the judge directed.