Lynch-loan email said AIB had no recourse
Published 09/04/2011 | 05:00
A SOLICITOR'S email stating AIB "no longer requires any legal recourse" against businessman Philip Lynch, developer Gerry Conlan "and the Lynch children" for a €25m loan was based on information provided to him by another solicitor, the Commercial Court heard.
In writing that email, sent on February 8, 2007, just hours before the final loan document was signed, solicitor Imdaad Sulaiman, then working with LK Shields solicitors, told the court he was reporting information that he had received the previous evening from Ronan McLoughlin, a partner at Matheson Ormsby Prentice (MOP).
He said Mr McLoughlin had not mentioned to him that a special condition of the loan document limiting recourse for the €25m was being deleted because the bank had concerns about enforcements issues if it was left in.
It is alleged the deletion of that condition had the effect of extending recourse to Mr Lynch, his wife Eileen and their four children for the €25m.
Mr Sulaiman was giving evidence in the continuing action by the Lynch family against AIB, LK Shields and MOP aimed at preventing AIB pursuing them over the €25m loan. They claim the loan was a non-recourse facility secured on the Waterford lands. AIB denies the claim and is also claiming a €25m judgment against Mr Conlan.
The family have alleged negligence by both law firms. Both firms deny the claims.
Yesterday, Michael Cush, for MOP, suggested to Jim Gollogley, a partner in LK Shields in 2007, that the "crucial failures in this case" were Mr Gollogley's as "supervisor" of Mr Sulaiman and a partner in the office.
"I would reject that completely," Mr Gollogley said.
Mr Sulaiman told John Gleeson, for LK Shields, that he sent an email at 9.33am on February 8, 2007, stating AIB no longer required recourse against the Lynch family and Mr Conlan.
When he sent that email, he had not seen the final AIB loan facility letter, Mr Sulaiman said.
Mr Sulaiman also said the fee charged by LK Shields was €7,000 plus VAT and outlay, totalling €8,561, and the fee note referred to "Co-Ownership Arrange. Re Waterford lands".
Mr Cush suggested LK Shields dealt with matters beyond the co-ownership agreement. Mr Sulaiman agreed the firm did deal with some other matters but said those "administrative" tasks were not to do with advising on the terms of the facility letter.
The case resumes on Tuesday before Mr Justice Michael Peart.