Aug 192010
 

A firm of solicitors whose claim for fees against the State was reduced has withdrawn its High Court appeal of the decision.

PV Boland and Co, of Newbridge, County Kildare, submitted a bill for €2.14 million after winning a case against the Personal Injuries Assessment Board, but the Taxing Master rejected their claim, describing it as revolting in the extreme.  He reduced the combined barrister’s and solicitor’s fees to less than one fifth of the amount claimed.

I have never encountered such grossly excessive fees, said Mr Moran, the Taxing Master.  I can hardly find the words strong enough to describe my disgust and bewilderment at the level of these costs being claimed.

PV Boland’s share of these fees was €1,050,000, but the taxing Master reduced this to €106,000, a reduction of 90%.

A claim of €10,000 for postage, photocopying, and sundries was cut to €1,000.

PV Boland issued a statement in which it said that it had withdrawn its objection due to the distracting  publicity generated by the case.

“Patrick V Boland and Son took this decision reluctantly. It acted in good faith throughout this process, and submitted its bill of costs through normal channels to an established taxing process,” the statement said.

“Due to the level of commentary which prevailed from the preliminary findings, we felt the interests of our clients were best served by focusing on our work rather than on a distracting appeal process.”

“The firm does not agree with the findings of the Taxing Master, yet believed that the level of public commentary surrounding the publication of his preliminary findings was sufficient to be distracting to our responsibilities as a small local firm of serving our clients to the best of our ability.”

So there you have it.  In this difficult financial climate, a firm which did work to the value of a million euros settled for a tenth of the figure it believes it’s owed.  And even though it spent ten thousand euros on photocopying, it settled for one thousand.

It tolerated what must surely amount to a gross insult by the Taxing Master who said that the costs were devoid of all reality, and bore no relationship to the issues involved or the nature or extent of the work undertaken.

This is tantamount to calling them liars.   A bill devoid of reality is a false bill, and therefore the Taxing Master has levelled a very grave charge against PV Boland — a charge that goes to the very heart of their professional reputation.

I simply cannot understand how any firm that values its good name could walk away from a case in which its integrity and honesty was questioned so publicly by a very senior court official.

Quite apart from the loss of a million euros — a sum that no firm could possibly do without  — the damage to its reputation must be even more costly.

Therefore, distraction or not, I can’t see how withdrawing from this appeal was an option, given the reputational damage caused to this company.  If they don’t defend themselves against the Taxing Master’s comments, they’ll end up with no credibility.  It will almost look as if they’re agreeing with the Taxing Master’s accusation that their fees have no basis in reality.

A claim for fees which has no basis in reality is a fraudulent claim, and surely PV Boland cannot allow themselves to stand accused of fraud.  That would leave them open to prosecution by the Gardai for inventing costs which they did not incur and seeking to defraud the tax-payer of a million euros.  Such a thing would be unthinkable.  They must act to protect their good name.

______________

Previously on Bock


  10 Responses to “Lawyers Withdraw Appeal Against Taxing Master’s Decision”

Comments (9) Pingbacks (1)
  1.  

    Most strange.
    Is it possible that the Taxing Master has information which would put the firm at risk of facing criminal charges?
    I just wonder if that could be why a bunch of ‘professionals’ are running from a million Euro.
    Is it possible that the Taxing Master is guilty of collusion in a cover-up of a crime?
    I just wonder.

  2.  

    There was a gravy train. There still is. They are still on it. Just a little less gravy.

  3.  

    Where was the office of the Taxing master for the last twenty years? Big swinging micky – so you gave the corporate monster of P V Boland a slap. Sure aren’t ye great. That’s it; no more corruption in Ireland.

    Darren

  4.  

    Darren. Very smart move of course by the Taxing Master. A public Servant who sniffed the wind, saw where his own interest lay and moved to protect it. This action alone has probably saved his lucrative job for years to come. Smart eh?. But you are right, absolutely right to ask what was he doing over the last number of years. Should he not now go back over all the claims for the last five years and ask for 90% back?

  5.  

    The assumption here seems to be that the taxing master has not rejected fees in the past. Do you have information to that effect?

  6.  

    “The firm does not agree with the findings of the Taxing Master, yet believed that the level of public commentary surrounding the publication of his preliminary findings was sufficient to be distracting to our responsibilities as a small local firm of serving our clients to the best of our ability.” –What a load of bollocks–a”small local firm”–let’s not forget that these learned pricks already gouged the taxpayer for something like 16 million Euros in the Army deafness gravy train.Now they present us with a false bill, inflated by at least 1,750,000 Euros ,according to the Taxing Master,and there isn’t jack shit comment about it in the media.What happened to our fearless journalists?Why dosen’t some fucking T.D or senator go to his nearest Garda station and lodge a charge of fraud against these shysters from Newbridge,and against their esteemed barristers also?Looks like I’ll have to do that myself.

  7.  

    Bock- If the Taxing master has reduced or rejected claims in the past, I don’t recall it making headlines. I could be wrong. When I hear that the Taxing master has a reasonable published rate for each legal grade and reasonable published hours allowed for briefs then I will be happy to concede that he is starting to do his job. Until then I remain very sceptical of all payments made from the public purse.

  8.  

    Has Ivor been working for PV Boland?

  9.  

    Chicago. Spot on.

Leave a Reply