Criminal legal aid fees costs state over €72m

Two leading barristers received over half a million euro each in criminal legal aid fees last year.

The scheme cost the state over €72 million euro in 2022 – an increase of €4m from the previous year.

Four solicitors’ firms got over €600,000 each, according to the Department of Justice figures.

The firm run by Cork solicitor Frank Buttimer got €435,000 – but he says the scheme is value for money.

“The headlines figures that you are looking at there contains all the work that is done by solicitors, contains all the work that is done by their backup staff in their offices.

“It contains VAT, and it contains the taxation that will be paid, and the retention tax that will be paid directly at source by solicitors and by barristers.

“So the headline figure, believe me, is not lucrative.”


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