Anglo tries to link Quinn to €500m action
Published 09/10/2011 | 05:00
FALLEN billionaire Sean Quinn will be accused of "deceit" in the High Court tomorrow when Anglo Irish Bank will attempt to "join" him in a €500m dispute between his wife and children and the bank.
In what is expected to be one of the longest and most expensive cases in Irish legal history, Mr Quinn's wife and children are claiming that the half-a-billion-euro guarantees they pledged on behalf of their father to Anglo cannot be enforced because they didn't know what they were doing and were not given proper legal advice.
If the court allows Mr Quinn to be brought into the action, he could be bankrupted, according to legal experts. The action arises out of €2.3bn advanced by Anglo Irish Bank to various Quinn companies to support Mr Quinn's purchase of shares in Anglo Irish Bank, €500m of which was guaranteed by Cypriot and Russian companies controlled by Patricia Quinn and their children, Ciara, Collette, Brenda, Aoife and Sean Jnr.
They are now claiming that the guarantees and share pledges "were improvident and unconscionable, that they were executed in circumstances where there was a significant lack of autonomy" and that they were "unaware of the nature, context and implication of the security transactions and that they did not have the benefit of independent legal or financial advice."
Tomorrow in the Commercial Court division of the High Court a senior Anglo Irish Bank executive, Richard Woodhouse, will apply to have Sean Quinn Snr and two former senior executives of his conglomerate, Dara O'Reilly and Liam McCaffrey, brought into the action as 'third parties'.
In an affidavit, Mr Woodhouse says the Quinn children are now saying that the money they guaranteed was for "illegal purposes", including market manipulation.
He claims that if this is true then Mr Quinn is guilty of "a variety of torts which have exposed Anglo Irish Bank to considerable loss, damage and expense".
Mr Woodhouse says that Mr Quinn and his two named executives made statements to Anglo Irish Bank "which were false and were known to them to be false" or alternatively were "reckless".
"The falsity arises from the circumstances in which on the one hand the proposed third parties (Mr Quinn) who were the principal negotiators for the Quinn Group asserted that the plaintiffs (members of his family) were willing, ready and able to provide both various share pledges and the personal guarantees", which are at the centre of the legal proceedings.