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High Court asked to determine if documents seized from FAI offices are legally privileged

The application was briefly mentioned before Justice Leonie Reynolds today.

Image: Graham Hughes via RollingNews.ie

PROGRESS HAS BEEN made in proceedings by the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) concerning materials seized earlier this year from the FAI’s offices on foot of a search warrant, the High Court has heard.

Former FAI CEO John Delaney is a notice part to proceedings, as the court has heard that some of the documents may raise issues that are private to him. He left the association in September 2019. 

The corporate watchdog, as part of its ongoing investigation into certain matters concerning the FAI has brought an application asking the High Court to determine if the seized documents and material are legally privileged.

If the court finds that information contained in the documents are legally privileged then it cannot be used by the ODCE as part of its investigation. 

The application was briefly mentioned before Justice Leonie Reynolds today.

Kerida Naidoo SC, appearing with Elva Duffy Bl for the ODCE, said that progress has been made since the matter was previously before the courts.

It had been agreed that issues concerning how some of the documents seized are to be inspected will be heard by the court later this month.

That hearing will take less than an hour counsel said.

Counsel said that it has been further agreed that an application to see if the documents are legally privileged will be consider in July.

Jack Tchrakian BL for Delaney and Brian Gageby Bl for the FAI both consented to the proposed directions. 

The ODCE’s applications, which are made under various sections of the 2014 Companies Act, were brought after documents were seized from the FAI’s offices at Abbottstown on foot of a search warrant issued and executed on Friday, 14 February. 

The ODCE has made a number of similar applications since it commenced its investigation into certain matters at the FAI. 

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Last year the court ruled that extracts of documents the FAI has given to the ODCE are covered by professional legal privileged and cannot be used as part of the probe into certain matters concerning the association.

Those proceedings related to certain parts of documents provided to it by both the FAI and its auditors Deloitte Ireland LLP.  

Justice Reynolds ruled that the contents of some 14 passages in 16 documents provided by the FAI and Deloitte contain legally privileged material and cannot be used in the investigation.

Comments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing.

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Aodhan O Faolain

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