THE High Court has ordered the winding up of a firm founded by businessman and developer Philip Marley.
Judge Mary Laffoy held that Ely Property Group (EPG), a Dublin-registered holding company for firms involved in property development and management, was insolvent because it failed to satisfy a debt of €53,000 owed to former EPG auditors Copsey Murray Chartered Accountants.
The judge appointed Aidan Garcia Diaz as official liquidator to the firm.
London-based Marley, who is EPG managing director, disputed the debt and claimed the petition was "an abuse of process" and "motivated by malice".
Following the ruling, Robert Dore, solicitor for Mr Marley, said his client would consider the court's decision before deciding whether to appeal.
Copsey Murray said it began providing services for EPG in 2009. While it invoiced for more than €80,000 for services provided over three years, it was only paid €32,000 and €53,000 remained outstanding. It claimed that EPG had no defence to the petition.
EPG argued the money was not owed and the matter should be resolved at a full hearing.
In his affidavit, Mr Marley said Copsey Murray were engaged to provide services to EPG and subsidiary companies.
He said the firm had invoiced EPG in 2011 for services provided to the subsidiaries, which was in breach of what was agreed.
In her judgment, Judge Laffoy was satisfied that the petition did not constitute an abuse of process as contended by EPG.
Having regard to what transpired between the parties it was impossible to conclude that EPG had substantial grounds for disputing the debt, she said.
After making an order winding up the firm. the judge directed that Mr Marley swear a statement of affairs within 21 days and listed the matter in the examiner's court on a date after Easter.