Legal Business Blogs

Caught in controversy: A&L Goodbody jettisons Irish lottery clients after conflict arises

A&L Goodbody has received unwelcome national press and the ire of a former client after declaring a conflict of interest in its dealings with the high profile Irish lottery licence competition.

The Irish Times reported at the beginning of October that the leading Dublin-headquartered firm had been advising the bidding consortium led by UK operator Camelot and An Post, at the same time as advising charity group Rehab on a possible legal challenge to the national lottery, which may have serious consequences for the operator.

The Camelot-led consortium, which goes by the brand Premier Lotteries Ireland, was selected as the preferred applicant on 3 October. The bid was bankrolled by Camelot’s Canadian parent company, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP), which employed A&L Goodbody as its legal adviser to the process last year, the Irish Times reported.

It is understood that the firm provided legal advice to both parties for more than a year but terminated its relationship with both clients as soon as a conflict arose.

However, Rehab, which has also lodged legal proceedings against the Minister for Justice, Attorney General and An Post for damages arising from the National Lottery’s dominant market position, told Legal Business it is considering its options in relation to A&L Goodbody’s disclosure.

‘We’re gravely concerned. This is a very serious matter and we’re examining all of our options,’ a spokesman for the charity said.

A spokesperson for A&L Goodbody told Legal Business: ‘For reasons of client confidentiality and other legal obligations, A&L Goodbody cannot comment on specific client matters.’

For more in-depth analysis on Ireland’s leading firms, see ‘Outrageous fortune: how Ireland’s leading elite has stood up to five punishing years of austerity’