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Saturday 22 July 2017

NAMA takes its first court action against big developer Paddy Shovlin

Dearbhail McDonald Legal Editor

NAMA has begun enforcement proceedings against one of the country's most high-profile developers and two of Ireland's leading hoteliers.

The National Asset Loan Management Limited (NALM), a 100 per cent owned subsidiary of NAMA, will seek to have the debt-recovery action against developer Paddy Shovlin entered into the Commercial Court next month.

The case against Mr Shovlin and hotelier brothers Anthony Fitzpatrick and Patrick Fitzpatrick is the first of several enforcement proceedings to be lodged against developers.

The action, which NALM hopes will be fast-tracked through the Commercial Court -- the big-business division of the High Court -- comes as the toxic loans agency has warned that it will instigate legal action in the coming weeks against 12 individuals with debts amounting to €300m who, the agency says, are refusing to co-operate with it.

The asset-management company is buying over €80bn of loans from five major banks in a bid to manage the bad debts of Irish banks.

Its planned actions include taking control of businesses and assets through the appointment of receivers. Mr Shovlin's Landmark Enterprises built the €200m Beacon Clinic in Sandyford, Dublin, and the property company was behind the Beacon South Quarter development, which includes hundreds of apartments and 25,000sqm of retail outlets.

The case, taken by NAMA and Bank of Ireland, is one of three related cases against Mr Shovlin and his fellow directors, Anthony Fitzpatrick and Patrick Fitzpatrick.

Mr Shovlin, who has strong connections to former tax adviser Derek Quinlan, did not comment on the action when contacted by the Irish Independent.

Litigation

The litigation comes as the Government comes under pressure over its decision to acquire the loans of assets of developers, including property investor Paddy McKillen, who claim that they are not impaired borrowers.

Mr McKillen claims that some €80m credit facilities from Bank of Ireland destined for NAMA are "fully performing", not impaired, that there is no default on repayments, and transfer of the loans would have a "drastic and significantly detrimental" impact on his business and property rights.

He has also expressed "grave concern" about the impact internationally of the transfer of the loans to the 'toxic bank', the implications for his company's ability to raise additional facilities and the valuations placed on the loans by NAMA.

Irish Independent

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