Although the Irish Examiner report doesn’t say, it is understood that the NAMA versus Enda Farrell (and wife) case returned to the Commercial Court division of the High Court in Dublin yesterday, and as this case is now seemingly drawing to a close, NAMA was seeking a costs order against Enda Farrell and his wife Alice Kramer (Alison Kramer). And NAMA has hit a snag.
Whilst Enda Farrell, the former employee accused of leaking confidential information whilst employed at the Agency, has agreed to the costs order, his wife hasn’t, and there will now be further steps to establish her role in the affair. The Examiner is reporting that the wife claims she was unaware of the content of the 29 emails that her husband had sent her at her work email address – she was employed by Ernst and Young until September 2012. These 29 emails were forwarded by Alice to her personal email address.
The Examiner goes on to report “she said she never looked at the emails or their attachments or the contents of a document which her husband asked her to scan onto her work email address, which she then forwarded to him.”
Mr Justice Peter Kelly was presiding over the hearing yesterday and the costs order against Alice Kramer has been adjourned to January 2013, before which, presumably, Alice will be setting out why she believes she should not bear costs in this case.
No figure is given anywhere for what NAMA’s costs are likely to be, but if you throw in the cost of the internal investigation and a very robust legal action which included obtaining and executing a rare Anton Piller order to secure data on Enda’s home computer, but in mitigation, consider that Enda is reported to have fully cooperated with the NAMA investigation, you are probably still looking at NAMA costs well over €100,000. With no news of either Enda or his wife back working – he parted company with Forum Partners and she parted company with Ernst and Young – and with a career outlook that may be challenging, NAMA’s legal costs might be very substantial indeed to the couple.
As for the meat of the case, NAMA has been claiming that it hasn’t suffered material loss from the alleged leak, and accordingly hasn’t claimed damages from Enda (or wife) though the Examiner reports that it has reserved its right to do so in future. So, if any NAMA developer feels they have suffered loss, and pursue and are successful in their claim, then Enda may face further financial claims by NAMA. Enda may also face action by the Gardai and Data Protection Commissioner, to whom NAMA made complaints.
So, we’ll return to this matter in the New Year. Meanwhile it looks as if it will be a frosty Christmas in the Farrell/Kramer house.