Saturday 21 January 2017

Kean seeks dismissal of 'negligence' claim

Aoife Finneran

Published 09/11/2011 | 05:00

CELEBRITY solicitor Gerald Kean has asked for an action against him for professional negligence to be struck out on the grounds that the claim is "scandalous", "vexatious" and "unnecessary".

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Mr Kean, of Kean solicitors, Upper Pembroke Street, Dublin, and barrister Mr Francis McGagh, of Barnhill Road, Dublin, have denied the claims by Mr Kean's former client, Rayan Restaurant of Church View, Tullamore, Co Offaly.

The well-known legal eagle yesterday brought a motion asking the High Court to strike out the action for alleged professional negligence and breach of duty.

Rayan Restaurant, represented by Michael McDowell SC, has opposed the motion and argued that the case should go to full trial before the High Court.

The company, whose directors are Djamel Mennad and Fatima Zohra Azizi, claim that the defendants represented them in a legal dispute with the landlord of a premises in Athlone where they ran a restaurant. It said it approached Mr Kean's firm to act as its solicitors and that his firm in turn engaged Mr McGagh as its barrister.

The company's action against the landlord -- a now deceased solicitor Barra Flynn -- was dismissed in 2004 after a Circuit Court judge ruled that the landlord had lawfully determined the lease after taking possession of the premises following a dispute over rent arrears.

Advocacy

When the matter was appealed to the High Court, an order for security of costs was obtained by the landlord against Rayan Restaurant.

The latter company alleges that Mr McGagh and Mr Kean failed to advise it properly of its rights and remedies. The company discharged Mr Kean in October 2005.

The company also claims that the lawyers were negligent and in breach of duty in relation to the standard of representation and advocacy they provided at the trial in the Circuit Court and also when the matter came before the High Court.

The firm is further seeking damages against the defendants of more than €1m for alleged loss of opportunity.

At a hearing before yesterday, lawyers for Mr Kean and Mr McGagh said the action should be struck out.

Gareth Robinson BL, for Mr Kean, said his client rejected each and every part of the claims made against him.

Martin Hayden SC, for Mr McGagh, said the proceedings against both his client and Mr Kean "lack a cause of action".

He said Mr McGagh had at all times fully and properly advised the company while he was representing them and rejected all claims of negligence.

The action continues later this week.

Irish Independent

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