Thursday 24 August 2017

Kean liable for 90pc of legal costs and set for €450,000 bill

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)

Tim Healy

Solicitor Gerald Kean is facing an estimated €450,000 legal bill after a High Court judge ruled he is liable for 90pc of the EBS's costs of its successful case over his failure to return title deeds of two properties.

The costs orders have been stayed pending appeal.

The deeds concern two properties owned by Dolores Corcoran in Co Waterford over which EBS has a first legal charge and which were later subject to remortgaging with Permanent TSB. Ms Corcoran was a client of Mr Kean's firm at the relevant time.

Mr Justice Michael Twomey made final orders arising from his judgment last month finding Mr Kean was not entitled to give PTSB the title deeds to the two properties at Hunter's Way, Williamstown, and Portnahully, Carrigeen.

In his main judgment last month, Mr Justice Twomey ordered Mr Kean, within 21 days of the order being made, to notify PTSB he was not entitled to give it the relevant deeds and to take steps to retrieve those and return them to EBS.

He refused to place a stay on the deed retrieval orders on foot of an undertaking offered by EBS to hold the proceeds of any sale of the two properties pending the outcome of any appeal. However, he said he would stay the costs orders pending Mr Kean's appeal against the judge's findings in favour of EBS. An appeal may not be heard for up to two years.

The judge said it was likely the costs of the 10-day case would be a six-figure sum.

Mr Kean, he said, is a principal of a "relatively small" solicitor's firm and the court had no evidence of his current financial circumstances while EBS is a large financial institution.

Richard Kean SC, for Mr Kean, had earlier argued the court should make no order for costs, meaning each side pay their own while Andrew Fitzpatrick SC, for EBS, maintained it had won the case and was entitled to all of its costs against Mr Kean. The judge found Mr Kean is liable for 90pc of the costs because he had lost on the primary issue.

Irish Independent

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