The Chairman of the High Court has confirmed several penalties on former chief executives of several well-known companies for insider deals.
Hilip Lynch, former chairman of One Post and chief executive of One51 and IAWS, is the first person in Ireland to be found to have indulged in insider dealing.
A panel of assessors set up by the central bank recommended earlier this year that he be fined €75,000, disqualified from joining a regulated financial services company for five years, publicly warned and he pays €37,500 for the bank’s costs.
The panel was established in 2013 under the EU Market Abuse Regulation 2005. Last January, Mr. Lynch recommended sanctions after violating rules by using inside information to acquire 200,000 C&C shares to account for his approved retirement fund.
Today Ms. Justice Mary Irwin confirmed her retirement, as she was told by Mr. Lynch that she was not opposing the application.
The Central Bank’s Remy Farrell SC said it was the first such application under the relevant regulation. He said the rules provided that the bank could apply to the court for confirmation of sanctions, if it had not appealed against the discovery, as was the case in this case.
The application was based on an affidavit from Lewis Gallagher, the head of the Central Bank’s Enforcement Investigation Department.
She said that after a standing hearing before a panel of appraisers in September last year, she found that it was proved beyond an irrational doubt that Lynch had “inside information” when he asked her on October 21, 2008. 200,000 shares were bought.
The court heard that Mr. Lynch would be disqualified from the date of the court order.
Marcus Dowling SC for Lynch said it was recorded by the appraiser that this was an unusual instance of insider trading in that it was not done to make an immediate profit for his client and that he had to hold the shares for one year. The point, however, was that if there was any ambiguity Mr Lynch “should have been more careful and not settled (in the shares).”
Ms Justice Irwin said she had read the papers and the bank was entitled to the orders sought based on the evidence presented.
He made no order regarding the cost of the hearing, which means that both the parties pay their respective costs.