Solicitor fails to prevent lifting of anonymity order

A solicitor accused of misappropriating almost €370,000 in client and other funds has failed to prevent the lifting of a court order giving him anonymity.

Peter Kenny, whose practice of Kenny Associates, College Street, Carlow, is now being administered by another firm, had admitted receiving money in damages awards for clients and failing to tell them their cases were settled, the High Court heard. He was suspended and his assets frozen by the court last October.

Paul Anthony McDermott, for the Law Society, said it was not only clients' money that was involved but payments for barristers and expert witnesses in cases.

The sum involved stood at just under €370,000 now but may be bigger and the society was facing very large claims on its compensation fund, he said.


While the court had granted an order last October that the proceedings against Mr Kenny be heard in camera, the society no longer required this order.

Mr Kenny’s clients, and the public in general, had a right to know what was going on, Mr McDermott said.

Seán Sexton, solicitor for Mr Kenny, asked that the in-camera order remain in place in circumstances where another solicitor had taken over the administration of the practice.

The order would be to the benefit of the administrator and Mr Kenny’s clients, all of whom had been notified of his suspension, Mr Sexton said.

The president of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, said there was no reason why this solicitor should enjoy anonymity when others in similar situations had not.

There was a number of reasons why the in-camera order should be lifted, including because of the substantial amount of money involved and because an administrator was in place.

Mr Justice Kearns refused requests by both Mr Sexton and the administrator not to lift the naming ban and adjourned the matter to the new year for further work to be done on administering Mr Kenny’s practice.