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Lawyers deny Delaney’s attempt to delay the ODCE process

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The Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement said it opposes the request of former FAI chief executive John Delaney for more time to examine the files seized by the corporate watchdog as part of a criminal investigation into the association.

In a petition filed by FII, the High Court was asked to determine whether certain files contained a legal privilege and could not be used by Odyssey as part of its investigation.

Mr. Delaney, a notice party to the action, wants more time to review the material containing his emails so he can clarify what he says is protected by legal professional status and cannot be used by Odyssey.

The Odyssey requests that the application, which began last February, be heard in December.

The matter was referred back to Justice Leoni Reynolds, who expressed strong dissatisfaction with the speed of the trial process.

The judge also criticized Odyssey and Mr Delaney for using the ‘title for tattoo tactics’ on the testing process.

She said Delaney had already promised to take steps to ensure the inspection was completed within the agreed timeframe.

The court heard that Mr Delaney, who represents Paul McGarry in SC court with Jack Trackian Blue, had reviewed a number of documents and made progress.

As the investigation progressed in July, problems arose, which made it difficult for him to assess how many documents were private or within the ambit of legal privilege.

In an affidavit filed in court, Delaney’s solicitor, Aidan Emes, said his client wanted to deal with the matter as soon as possible so the former FAI CEO could “move on with life as quickly as possible”.

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Mr. Ames said his firm has put a lot of effort into the vetting process for his client.

However, cooperation and exploration “cannot be pursued at a price that compromises his client’s rights”.

Mr Eames added that Delaney was working on a shoestring, compared to the vast resources that Odyssey and FII could set aside for the testing process.

Kerida Naidu SC, who appeared with Elva Duffy Blue for Odyssey, said she was opposed to allowing Delaney any more time to complete the test.

Delaney had commented that he wanted to search the documentation using the new key search term, the lawyer said.

The lawyer said any of the issues raised by Mr. Delaney were meaningless.

A lawyer representing FII presented evidence to the court that he expected to review all the documentation within 35 working days and that it would be completed within the next few weeks.

This was in stark contrast to Mr. Delaney’s, and Odyssey was concerned that it would still take months to complete his review at the current pace.

The Odyssey said Delaney had argued that more than 3,000 of the files he had reviewed had legal rights.

Trying to appoint an independent person to consider that material, they will report to the court.

Odyssey was concerned that the investigation might be compromised, as Delaney had not yet reviewed thousands of documents.

Delaney’s lawyers denied Odyssey’s criticism and denied that he was trying to delay the process.

Postponing the case, Justice Reynolds said Delaney’s lawyers would like to know if they can accept an offer from Odyssey. If she did not take the offer, she wanted to know why.

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The judge also said that some issues should be discussed between the parties to make the best use of court time.

The matter will return to the High Court within two weeks.

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