Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Uncertainty over NAMA’s impact

There is still considerable doubt about how NAMA legislation will affect investors in Northern Ireland, a legal expert warned.

Insolvency lawyer Michael Neill, a partner at A&L Goodbody in Dublin, said the relationship between the agency and debtors in Northern Ireland was uncertain because NAMA did not have direct effect in Northern Ireland.

Mr Neill spoke at a knowledge seminar hosted by his firm, where he described NAMA — the body set up to deal with bad debts to banks — as “an Irish solution for an Irish problem”.

“Given that the legislation does not have extra territorial direct effect in Northern Ireland means that here, NAMA will have to rely solely on the existing contract between the applicable financial institution and the Northern debtor in question.

“Critically NAMA will not have as many of the key tools within its weaponry in the Republic at its disposal here in Northern Ireland.”

Mr Neill said around €5bn of the total €77bn of loans destined for NAMA were from Northern Ireland and that the next six months would be “critical” for NAMA’s transfer process.