Tuesday, September 04 07:33:00
The Quinns have been directed to produce certain documents to the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation as part of an order made by the Commercial Court at the end of July. Their accounts and assets have been frozen and they have applied for E40,000 to be paid out to them to pay lawyers in Cyprus to release documents. They have also said there may be a problem with getting documents released from their former solicitors in Ireland.
However, lawyers for IBRC told the High Court this afternoon that the bank wanted the Quinns to identify the assets from which it was proposed the money would be released. Senior Counsel Brian Murray said the bank wanted to be satisfied the assets were not those over which the bank had a charge. He said the location and destination of very large sums of money - totalling E32 million - was still unknown.
Lawyers for the receiver appointed to the assets of the Quinn children and their partners said they were growing increasingly concerned about the production of documents to the receiver. The court was told the receiver's concern had been heightened by the fact that they had been told that on 28 July, three days after an order was made by the Commercial Court to disclose documents, memory sticks containing certain documents had been stolen from members of the Quinn family.
A daughter of bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn has told the Commercial Court her family are determined, with or without lawyers, to pursue their action denying liability for up to E2.8 billion in loans made to Quinn companies by the former Anglo Irish Bank. The family has been given until September 24th by Mr Justice Peter Charleton to provide "definite and concrete" proposals on how they intend to proceed. The court's job was to uncover the truth and the actions would not be allowed "float on", he warned.
The bank told the judge earlier it remained concerned over the whereabouts of an estimated $32 million (E25 million) in rental and other monies from properties in the family's international property group, over which the bank is claiming security. Brian Murray SC, for Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (formerly Anglo), said it wanted information from the Quinns about the money before it would agree to any variation of freezing orders on the Quinns' accounts to allow E40,000 be paid to their overseas lawyers.
Peter Fitzpatrick, for receivers appointed over assets of the family, complained about delays in getting documents concerning those assets. The receivers' concerns had increased after being told computer memory sticks containing documents were stolen from the Quinns three days before the receivers were appointed in July, he said. When Mr Justice Charleton remarked such theft was unusual, Stephen Kelly, a son-in-law of Sean Quinn, said the memory sticks were among material stolen from his car and that a full Garda report had been made. Some but not all of the stolen material was recovered.
The judge made clear any move to destroy documents would be contempt of court. Mr Justice Charleton yesterday made orders, on consent of the Quinns, allowing Dublin law firm Eversheds to cease representing the family in two sets of proceedings - the family's action denying liability for the E2.8 billion loans, and the bank's action alleging members of the family engaged in asset-stripping measures. Brenda Quinn, accompanied by two of her brothers-in-law, Niall McPartland and Stephen Kelly, said the family was not sure how the case will proceed without Eversheds, and needed time to consider what to do.
The family may seek alternative legal advice, "we don't really know at this point". The judge observed the family's case involved complex claims that Anglo had advanced illegal loans, in breach of market abuse regulations, and he considered it "pretty close to inconceivable" that their case could be mounted without legal advice. Ms Quinn said the family was "determined to proceed . . . if that means representing ourselves, we don't want to do that, but will do all in our power to have the case proceed". Mr McPartland said the family was not seeking to be evasive or to delay matters.