Ryanair’s commitment to cheapness extends to its in-house lawyers, it has emerged.
In a spat with an Irish airline regulator, the airline’s chief executive Michael O’Leary (pictured) proudly revealed that he pays “fully qualified accountants, economists and lawyers less than €50,000 (£42,000) each.”
O’Leary’s pay package – £1.3m in 2010 according to The Sunday Times – makes him worth the equivalent of 22 Ryanair lawyers, or 26,000 bags checked in to the holds of his planes.
It’s safe to assume that he pays his external lawyers rather better. Last year Ryanair instructed top Covington & Burling partner Georg Berrisch and Monckton Chambers’ John Swift QC to challenge the Office of Fair Trading’s (OFT) decision to investigate the airline.
Perhaps O’Leary can get away with the low pay because he employs such relative youngsters. Ryanair’s legal chief, Juliusz Komorek, is just 33.
Komorek, who took over in the top job from the experienced Jim Callaghan when he moved to Etihad Airways in 2009, has attracted opprobrium for his youth in the lively anti-Ryanair blogging community.
In a post last year, ‘ryanairdontcare’ asked: “IS [Komorek] A CHILD PRODIGY, or JUST A SCAMMER…[?]”
The post continued: “Komorek is 33 years old….When he joined Ryanair, he was 26….So at the age of 26, he already had two law degrees and previous “relevant” experience in EU Commission and Polish Embassy….These numbers do not add up. A child prodigy?”
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