Decisions of the Financial Services Ombudsman (“FSO”) are often challenged in the courts. An appeal from a decision of the FSO is, in the first instance, brought to the High Court. The High Court decision can be further appealed to the Court of Appeal, but only on a point of law. Furthermore, leave to bring this further appeal must first be obtained from either the High Court or the Court of Appeal.
The criteria to be applied to applications for leave to appeal in such cases were considered by the Supreme Court in Governey v Financial Services Ombudsman & anor  IESC 38.
The application for leave to appeal in Governey was brought before the Supreme Court as it was made prior to the establishment of the Court of Appeal. The principles set down by the Supreme Court in Governey apply equally, however, to applications for leave now brought before the Court of Appeal.