BANKRUPT businessman Sean Quinn will have to wait to find out whether he is is entitled to personally defend a legal action which could result in judgment for €2.3bn against him in favour of the former Anglo Irish Bank.
Anglo, now Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, has alleged fraud and conspiracy against Mr Quinn in allegedly obtaining loans for an illegal purpose.
Mr Quinn has delivered a full defence denying those claims and alleging Anglo at all times knew the real purpose of the loans was to meet margin calls on Contract for Difference (CfD) positions in an unlawful effort to prop up its share price.
Mr Justice Peter Kelly yesterday reserved judgment on the case after hearing final arguments on an application by Mr Quinn, who says he should be permitted to defend the claims made by Anglo against him in the action brought against it by his wife and children.
Anglo contends, as a bankrupt, Mr Quinn is not entitled to defend proceedings where the Official Assignee in Bankruptcy has decided not to defend and where, it claims, entry of judgment of more than €2bn would not involve "findings" by the court against Mr Quinn.
In the family's proceedings against Anglo, yet to be heard, Mrs Patricia Quinn and her five adult children contend they are not liable for loans of some €2.34bn advanced to companies in the Quinn Group on grounds those loans were allegedly illegally made to prop up the bank's share price.
Anglo denies the claims but has joined Mr Quinn and two former Quinn Group senior executives -- Liam McCaffrey, former Quinn Group finance director and Dara O'Reilly, chief executive of Quinn Group (NI) Ltd -- as third parties.The bank contends, if the family wins, it is entitled to be indemnified by the three for the loans on grounds they were allegedly central to the management of the Quinn group and an alleged strategy to make investments to fund CfD positions in Anglo before the end of 2007. All three have denied the claims.
After the Official Assignee told Mr Justice Kelly last month he was not participating in the case, Anglo applied for judgment in default of defence against Mr Quinn, seeking to have him bound by any judgment made at the end of the case.
When that application came on for hearing, Mr Quinn asked to be permitted to personally defend the claims against him.
In closing submissions yesterday, Brian Murray SC, for Anglo, said Mr Quinn's argument that he was entitled to be treated equally before the law was "surprising" and "spurious" in the circumstances of this case.
Earlier, Brian Cregan SC, for Mr Quinn, argued his adjudication as a bankrupt was an economic attribute which did not affect his absolute right as a human being to defend the claims against him.