03 Jul 2015

Belfast law firm Tughans caught up in £7 million storm

Northern Irish politicians have called for an investigation into allegations over a property deal involving Nama.


Northern Irish politicians have called for an investigation after a politican in Dublin alleged that Belfast law firm Tughans had £7m in an account, 'reportedly earmarked for a Northern Ireland politician'. The firm has issued a statement denying the claim.The allegation, over a major property deal, was made in the Irish parliament by independent member Mick Wallace, who said it was in connection with the sale of the Northern Ireland property loan portfolio of the National Asset Management Agency (Nama) in 2014. The Nama portfolio was purchased by New York firm Cerberus Capital Management for £1.3bn. Cerberus categorically denied the allegations, saying  'no improper or illegal fees were paid by us, or on our behalf.' 

Dispute with former managing partner

Although Tughans denied Mr Wallace's specific allegation, it gave details of a dispute at the firm, claiming that  'a former partner diverted to an account, of which he was the sole beneficiary, professional fees due to the firm, without the knowledge of the partners.’ The firm said: ‘We have since retrieved the money and he has left the practice. Tughans says it reported the circumstances of the departure of the former partner to the Law Society.’ Mr Wallace was warned in the Irish parliament that he should not make such claims and should instead report them to the police if he had evidence to back them up. Source: BBC NI