Gareth Robinson: My firm had no role in NAMA deal

Gareth and Peter Robinson pictured in 2011
Gareth and Peter Robinson pictured in 2011

The public relations firm run by Peter Robinson’s son has categorically denied any involvement in the deals involving NAMA, Pimco or Cerberus.

Verbatim Communications, which is run by former Castlereagh Councillor Gareth Robinson, yesterday moved to distance itself from the controversy surrounding the NAMA deal after it was confirmed that Tughans — the law firm at the centre of the financial irregularity — had employed Mr Robinson once three years ago.

The Irish News has reported that Frank Cushnahan — who had an office in Tughan’s Belfast building — recommended Mr Robinson’s services to individuals and firms.

Verbatim is an unusual PR firm as it keeps a very low profile. It has just a single page on its website and the News Letter does not have any record of having ever received a press release from the firm until yesterday’s statement.

Its most recent accounts filed with Companies House do not indicate a firm with a large income stream. Its 2014 balance sheet shows total assets of £18,650, with Mr Robinson as the sole shareholder.

Yesterday’s statement said: “At no time has Verbatim Communications Ltd been employed by NAMA, Pimco or Cerberus.

“No Verbatim Communications Ltd employees or representatives facilitated or were in any way involved in the sale of NAMA assets to Cerberus. Neither the Company nor anyone representing the company benefited from the Cerberus/NAMA transaction nor did they ever expect to.”

The statement added: “Whilst neither the company nor anyone representing Verbatim Communications Ltd, acted for anyone in the NAMA sale to Cerberus, Verbatim Communications fully supports all investigations into the matter whether in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland.

“On one occasion, three years ago, Verbatim Communications Ltd was engaged by Tughans to assist with a very successful event relating to third level education.

“Verbatim Communications Ltd acts in a professional and ethical manner at all times and any suggestion to the contrary will be vigorously challenged.”