Friday 9 December 2016

Drumm fears memories of critical Anglo witnesses could 'fade'

BANKING

Emmet Oliver

Published 04/01/2012 | 05:00

The former CEO of Anglo Irish Bank, David Drumm, has expressed concern that the length of time which has passed since the bank's collapse could make it difficult for him to defend himself against his former employers.

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Mr Drumm is seeking "limited'' access to documents and witness statements in order to answer allegations made against him by Anglo, now known as the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC).

"Mr Drumm is concerned that evidence may be lost or destroyed and/or that the memory of critical witnesses may fade,'' his lawyers said in documents filed in the US.

"Witnesses move, become ill or die. Their memories fade with the passage of time,'' said the lawyers for Mr Drumm.

IBRC is the plaintiff in the legal action in the US and it is challenging Mr Drumm's right to be discharged from bankruptcy on two grounds, including based on his conduct at Anglo.

Mr Drumm has answered the complaints and denies liability. As a result, a full hearing is currently set to proceed and the discovery of documents is now a crucial issue. IBRC and Mr Drumm agree on some parts of this, but disagree on others.

Mr Drumm strongly denies a range of allegations made by Anglo against him covering his period as CEO of the bank. However, he is now concerned that evidence used by IBRC to back up its allegations should be tested by his legal team.

Conduct

"Given the significant passage of time since much of the alleged conduct occurred, Mr Drumm is concerned evidence may be lost or destroyed,'' state the filings.

Both sides are facing heavy costs if the legal actions continue, but the documents make clear that attempts are being made to cut these costs.

"The parties will seek to work cooperatively to minimise discovery related expenses. Among other things, electronic discovery and the use of a virtual document repository may be used as a method to reduce costs,'' state the documents.

Mr Drumm is not just facing legal challenges to his bankruptcy from IBRC, but also from Kathleen Dwyer, the trustee of his bankruptcy estate. She has filed objections to him being discharged on substantially the same grounds as those of IBRC.

A hearing of Ms Dwyer's case and complaints is due to be heard on January 12.

Irish Independent

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