Business Irish

Friday 24 March 2017

McNamara settles legal action with his former associates

Tim Healy

DEVELOPER Bernard McNamara has settled his legal action against five former business associates in which he claimed €101m in damages over alleged breaches of a 2004 shareholders agreement.

The settlement was ann-ounced to Mr Justice Peter Kelly at the Commercial Court yesterday but no details were disclosed. The judge consented to strike out the case with no order.

The proceedings by Mr McNamara were against businessmen Gary Smith, of Hazelhatch, Newcastle, Co Dublin; Ivor Dougan, of Booterstown, Dublin; Paschal Taggart, of Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin; Terry Cooney, a tax consultant, of Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin; and Shane Taggart, a banker, of Brompton Road, London.

The case arose from Mr McNamara and the five coming together in 2004 to acquire properties adjacent to Grafton Street, Dublin, to build a commercial development.

The five claimed Mr McNamara was seeking to stymie bankruptcy proceedings brought against him by two of them, but his lawyers denied this.

Proceedings

The bankruptcy petition against Mr McNamara was issued last June by Mr Smith and Mr Dougan over his failure to pay a sum agreed under a settlement of court proceedings.

In those earlier proceedings, the five had sued for €7.5m arising from an option deed of September 2004 under which they claimed they granted Mr McNamara the option to require them to sell shares in a company set up to carry out the development at a price in accordance with that deed.

Mr McNamara consented last February to a €2.1m judgment order against him in favour of Mr Smith and Mr Dougan. They sought the judgment over Mr McNamara's failure to make all payments agreed as part of an October 2008 settlement.

Under that settlement, Mr McNamara was to pay €5m to the plaintiffs by December 2008 and a further €2.5m by January 29 last. The €5m was paid over but Mr Smith and Mr Dougan claimed failure to pay other sums due to them.

After the alleged failure to pay, Mr Smith and Mr Dougan brought the bankruptcy proceedings. In opposing those proceedings, Mr McNamara claimed the five were required to release him from €101m in guarantees and indemnities provided by him under the share- holders agreement of 2004.

Irish Independent

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