High Court reporters
The president of the High Court has confirmed a number of penalties on the former chief executive of a number of well-known companies for insider dealing.
Philip Lynch, a former chairman of An Post, One51 and IAWS, is the first person in Ireland to be found to have engaged in insider dealing.
A panel of assessors set up by the Central Bank recommended earlier this year that Mr Lynch is fined €75,000, disqualified from being involved in a regulated financial services company for five years, publicly cautioned and pays €37,500 towards the bank's costs.
The panel was set up in 2013 under the EU Market Abuse Regulations 2005. Last January, it recommended the sanctions after finding Mr Lynch had contravened the regulations by using inside information to acquire 200,000 C&C shares for the account of his approved retirement fund.
On Monday, Ms Justice Mary Irvine confirmed the sanctions after she was told Mr Lynch was not opposing the application.
Remy Farrell SC, for the Central Bank, said this was the first such application under the relevant regulation. The regulations provided that the bank could apply to the court for confirmation of the sanctions if there had not been an appeal against the finding, as had happened in this case, he said.
The application was grounded on an affidavit of Louise Gallagher, the Central Bank's head of enforcement investigations division, who said that following a substantive hearing before the panel of assessors in September last year, they found it had been proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr Lynch was in possession of "inside information" when he bought the 200,000 shares on October 21st, 2008.
The court heard the disqualification on Mr Lynch will take place from the date of the court order.
Marcus Dowling SC, for Mr Lynch, said it was recorded by the assessor that this was an atypical instance of inside trading in that it was done not for his client to make immediate gains and he had to hold the shares for a year. However, the point was that if there was any ambiguity Mr Lynch "should have exercised more caution and not have dealt [in the shares]".
Ms Justice Irvine said she had read the papers and the bank was entitled to the orders sought based on the evidence presented.
She made no order as to the costs of the hearing which means both sides pay their own costs.