Thursday 21 September 2017

Court upholds order limiting Quinns to €2,000 a week each

Tim Healy

THE children of bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn, a nephew, and two sons-in-law will have to continue living on €2,000 a week after a High Court order was upheld yesterday.

The injunctions sought by the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation -- formerly Anglo Irish Bank -- also prevent members of Mr Quinn's family from disposing of assets of up to €400m in value.

The Quinns will be allowed €2,000 living expenses each until the injunction orders return to the High Court next Wednesday, as well as legal and possibly some domestic expenses.

Yesterday, Bill Shipsey, for the Quinn side, indicated his clients would dispute the bank's entitlement to those freezing orders at a hearing likely to be held next month.

The bank wants that hearing held on July 19 but a date has yet to be fixed.

Mr Shipsey also said his clients may seek additional funds to meet pressing domestic expenses.

Irish Bank Resolution Corporation had sought and secured interim freezing orders last week in an effort to protect up to €400m of assets in the Quinns' international property group (IPG).

Mr Justice Peter Kelly continued to June 27 the orders freezing assets owned or controlled worldwide by the five children -- Aoife, Ciara, Colette, Brenda and Sean Junior; Mr Quinn's nephew Peter Darragh Quinn and two sons-in-law, Stephen Kelly and Niall McPartland -- and several companies, below €50m each except for living expenses of €2,000.

He said any application to vary those orders to meet particular expenses, even where the variation was consented to by the bank, would have to be mentioned to the court and formally approved.

Adjourned

He adjourned for a week IBRC's application to transfer to the Commercial Court the proceedings against the Quinn defendants and several companies based in Belize, Panama, Russia and United Arab Emirates. The bank claims the companies have cooperated with the Quinns in stripping assets from the IPG.

Mr Shipsey said his side would oppose the transfer application on grounds including the bank's delay in seeking to transfer its proceedings issued a year ago against the Quinn defendants to protect IPG assets. His side believed the bank may have not applied to transfer the case before now for "tactical reasons".

Brian Murray, for the bank, said the Quinn side were well equipped to resist the transfer application.

The judge said delay was a factor he takes into account in considering whether to transfer cases to the Commercial Court list. He would give the Quinn side an opportunity to outline its opposition to transfer and would deal with that next Wednesday as well as the application to further continue the freezing orders until the issue of the bank's entitlement to those freezing orders is decided.

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