Sunday Tribune 14/9/08
Ken Foxe Public Affairs Correspondent

TEN solicitors have made more than €1 million each representing the victims of sexual and physical abuse at state institutions.

The legal firms have raked in colossal fees for their work with the Residential Institutions Redress Board, in some cases being paid more per case than the victims.

The top earning solicitor’s firm has taken in an astonishing €9.1 million in the last three years for which records are available, the Sunday Tribune has learned.

Michael Hanahoe & Company earned more than €4 million in both 2005 and 2006 representing dozens of clients before the Redress Board.

The notoriously secretive Redress Board said they would not provide the most recent figures for 2007 saying they “did not engage with the media.”

A spokeswoman for the organisation said they were not subject to the Freedom of Information Act and that details of payments to lawyers would only be published in their forthcoming annual report.

Documents examined by the Sunday Tribune show that 10 firms have made more than €1 million each out of a total pot of €97 million, which has been paid out since the Redress Board was set up six years ago.

The next highest earners after Hanahoe were the Dublin-based firm of Lavelle Coleman, which has earned a total of €8.9 million from representing victims of abuse.

In third place was the firm of Margaret Campbell, which raked in a total of €3.457 million during those three years.

Some familiar names have also made the list with Gallagher Shatter, the law firm of Fine Gael’s Alan Shatter, earning close to €460,000.

Controversial Limerick solicitor John Devane has earned a total of €580,930 from the Redress Board but neither he nor Shatter made the Top Ten list.

Solicitors have earned on average €12,255 for each case that they’ve taken on behalf of the victims, according to the latest figures.

John Kelly of Irish Survivors of Child Abuse said: “Even the victims of very serious abuse are now getting derisory amounts for what they suffered. This was never about making solicitors money but unfortunately that is what has happened. “Many solicitors are operating on a no-win, no-fee basis but there is nothing for free as the government and the taxpayer are picking up the bill.

“Some of the victims are getting €4,000 or €5,000 for their cases, which would mean that the victims are getting less than the solicitors in certain instances.”
Top 10 Earners

Michael Hanahoe: €9,167,855

Lavelle Coleman: €8,917,899

Margaret Campbell: €3,457,319

Murphy, English & Co: €3,035,704

Peter McDonnell & Associates: €2,629,952

Madden & Associates: €2,528,383

Hodge, Jones & Allen: €2,297,542

Pearse Mehigan & Co: €2,124,481

Paul W Tracey: €1,368,243

Matthew Gold & Co: €1,120,175


10 Responses to “10 lawyers made over €1m from abuse cases”

  1. patriciajennings says:

    hi this is patriciajennings here in cedarbrookwalk cherryorchard dublin 10 and i am a survivor of physical and emotional abuse in st teresas special school for girls temple hill blackrock co dublin run by the daughters of charity nuns and their staff to that took care of me back then and truly hated been there as well as it was an in dustrail school run by the daughters of charity nuns many years ago now so i am truly truly asking you to re open the redress board once again for people like myself with a long term interllectual disability and that has suffered physical abuse from the nuns that call them selves the daughters of charity and their staff to and all i want is to compenisated for i went through many years ago as this this is something that i will never get over in a life time never

  2. Pete says:

    Pearse Mehigan suggested that I do the work I asked HIM to do after a trawl of ‘discovery’ failed to connect property to an individual . He suggested I unearth the individuals wealth or non wealth before we could proceed . I lost any will or drive to pursue the matter directly as a result of his indifference. I found him cold and disinterested. That was in 2005 , I’m hoping another Solicitor, an old school friend with whom I’ve recently become reaquainted with can do better .

  3. Hanora Brennan says:

    Paddy, what about the lawyers who have been made millionaires from the Free Legal Aid scheme here in Ireland? They are one of the most corrupt amongst us and have you ever met one that doesn’t like to hear themselves talk? Sit in an Irish court any day of the week to witness the reptiles in action … hissssssssssssssssss!!!!!!

  4. Accountant says:

    Solicitors fees for the year 2007 as published from the Redress Board website.These amounts coincide with the above solicitors only (and include in some cases High Court costs!!!!) as the TOP TEN LAWYERS, published in the Sunday Tribune a few weeks ago.

    Michael Hanahoe: 3,518,500.45

    Lavell Coleman: 1,865.227.59

    Margaret Campbell: 387,660.44

    Murphy English: 2,637,704.44

    Peter McDonnell: 3,641.924.15

    Madden Associates: 1,002.170.10

    Hodge Jones & Allan: 2,205.542.31

    Pearce Mehigan & Co 445.303.93

    Paul W Tracey: 1,738,570.49

    Matthew & Gold: 312,349.78

    Please “REMEMBER” these figures are just for 2007 and are in addition to what was reported in the Sunday Tribune in 08/04/2008

  5. Who’s a naughty Solicitor then Michael E Hanahoe?

    You must have been snug in bed with the State and Religious, you were well rewarded.

    Remember me? you told me not to mention to the Redress Board my concern about Expunging my Illegal Conviction. That was very under handed of you. You certainly did “Not Represent Me” did you. By the way, I still have some of the pennies you got me for 9 years of abuse. You got substantially more.

    God will remember.

  6. Lilith Barrett says:

    I see Hodge mentioned- ah yes, always the same ones.

    That will be the same Hodge who knew of the abuse in London and did nothing either.

    Keeping it in the family, I see.

    The lawyers make money all the time from the misery of others.

    Real Justice makers would have done it all for free for the victims- but someone has to pay them to collude with the abusers and obey their Opus Dei master.

  7. Andrew says:


  8. Jaker says:

    Hello, Paddy, I hope you’re getting some of that sun, this weekend? Still on this news…it’s a shocking travesty of the Law by the Law…shockingly shocking. I would tell them to hold their heads in “Shame” for the rest of their greedy lives!

    “Suffer the little children…to come unto me”

    & like-wise “Suffer the greedy lawmen” to “HELL” for all Eternity!

  9. Mari Steed says:

    And shamefully, not one of these firms have represented survivors of Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries in their sisyphean fight to receive even the barest acknowledgement under the Redress scheme. Instead, they have been completely exempted from the restitution scheme and it seems not a solicitor in town is interested in helping them achieve justice or a pension for the unpaid labour they performed.

  10. Paddy says:

    It is important to bear in mind the figures given above are those that were available on the 14/09/08 – no doubt a few more Euro can be added to these figures as the Redress Board ploughs along.