FOUR former directors of Irish Nationwide Building Society (INBS) are seeking a large number of documents for their defence to a case in which they are being sued for tens of millions of euro due to the "catastrophic losses" suffered by the building society.
The Commercial Court's Mr Justice Peter Kelly agreed yesterday to allow the directors additional time to prepare their defence in circumstances where the claims against them, brought by the special liquidators of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), into which the building society was previously merged, go back several years.
Various directions for exchange of legal documents mean defences will be provided by late October and the case will come before the judge again in late March 2014, when he is expected to fix a trial date.
Maurice Collins SC, for IBRC, said while his side was prepared to take a constructive view towards providing most of the documents, it did not accept the defences could not be finalised with documents sought across some 13 categories.
Lawyers for the defendants said they needed longer than normally provided under Commercial Court rules to prepare their defences and wanted various categories of documents to assist them in doing so.
IBRC has separately sued the four directors – ex-INBS chairman Michael Walsh, Stan Purcell, David Brophy, and Terence Cooney – and former INBS chief executive Michael Fingleton.
The focus of the cases is on the conduct of about 20 transactions subjected to a forensic examination by accountancy firm Ernst & Young and lawyers over the past three years.
The IBRC investigation took that long due to factors including the fact that "astonishingly few" documents were left behind, meaning that the affairs of INBS had to be effectively reconstructed from crates of documents, the court was told.