DPP reveal €17.4m paid to barristers in 2018; €1.2m for prosecuting barristers in former Anglo boss’ trial

The DPP has revealed that payments to barristers in the criminal courts last year totalled €17.39m – an increase of €1m or 6% on the €16.4m paid out in 2017.

The figures have been released through the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.

According to the figures the top paid senior counsel was paid €524,649 (incl VAT) with four others receiving payments over €300,000. Ten other un-named senior counsel received fees between €200,000 and €300,000 with eight junior counsel receiving fees between €200,000 and €300,000.

Unrelated file image of female barrister

However, the DPP’s FOI unit has decided not to name the barristers and refers to the barristers as Senior Counsel 1, Senior Counsel 2 etc as a result of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) directive.

A spokeswoman for the DPP FOI unit stated: “The FOI Unit in the Office of the DPP has departed from previous practice over recent years by choosing not to disclose the names of counsel. The reason for this is due largely to recent data protection legislation and in particular this Office’s obligations under the GDPR.”

She stated: “The decision from the FOI Unit relates only to our own GDPR obligations. I have taken advice from our Data Protection Officer in this regard.”

A big driver in the increase in payments for 2018 was the €1.2m paid out by the DPP in the trial of former Anglo Irish Bank ceo, David Drumm.

File image of David Drumm outside court

The figures reveal that senior counsel in the case enjoyed a brief fee of €40,000 + VAT and a daily fee of €3,000 plus VAT.

Mr Drumm was jailed for six years last June after being convicted for his role in a €7.2 billion fraud perpetrated at the peak of the banking crisis in 2008.

The second most expensive trial last year for the DPP concerned a ‘heinous’ ‘tiger robbery’ and cost €346,316 in DPP counsel fees with the total cost of lawyers – including defence lawyers – to the tax-payer more than double that at around €700,000.

Four men, Mark Farrelly (47) of Moatview Court, Priorswood, Coolock, Christopher Corcoran (71) of Rosedale, Raheny, David Byrne (45) of Old Brazil Way, Knocksedan, Swords, Dublin and Niall Byrne (36) of Crumlin Rd Flats, Dublin were sentenced to a total of 53 years. The trial, which began in January 2018 – was the 5th time the case had gone to court.

It also cost the tax-payer over €500,000 to pay the prosecution and defence lawyers in the trial that convicted three people of the murder of Gareth Hutch (36).

At the three judge Special Criminal Court in November, brother and sister, Jonathan Keogh of Gloucester Place, Dublin 1 and mother of five, Regina Keogh Avondale House, Cumberland Street North, Dublin 1 were convicted of Mr Hutch’s murder on May 24th 2016 and received the mandatory life prison term.

Thomas Fox of Rutland Court, Dublin 1 was also convicted of Mr Hutch’s murder and also received the life term.