Saturday 25 October 2014

Property investor McKillen granted subpoena

Tim Healy

Published 18/02/2014 | 19:41

PROPERTY investor Paddy McKillen claims communications between certain officials of Department of Finance, NAMA, and representatives of the Barclay brothers, relating to the sale of his loans by Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) were unlawful and improper.

The claim was made today when Mr McKillen was granted a court order requiring three Department officials and one from NAMA, at the time of the alleged communications, to give evidence at his (McKillen's) forthcoming action against IBRC and the Barclays.

Mr McKillen  wants their attendance at a High Court hearing, due to start on March 4, so they can give evidence in relation to the alleged communications and for the purpose of proving emails that allegedly passed between them and the Barclays.

Mr McKillen's lawyers were granted permission to subpoena the Department's  secretary general John Moran, along with Danny Buckley and Michael Torpey, and Aideen O'Reilly of NAMA.

The orders were granted by the Master of the High Court Edmund Honahan whose permission is required to subpoena civil servants to attend such hearings.

In an affidavit seeking the subpoenas, Hugh J Millar, a partner in Crowley Millar Solicitors, said his client, Mr McKillen, is seeking a number of declarations next month against IBRC, its special liquidators, David and Frederick Barclay and certain companies connected with the Barclays.

These relate to next month's planned sale by IBRC of hundreds of millions in McKillen loans to the Barclays or related entities which Mr McKillen wants the court to prevent.

He claims such a sale would be in breach of an agreement both parties made as part of their shareholdings in a company which was at the centre of another legal battle in the UK last year over control of three luxury London hotels, which the Barclays won.

He claims the sale would be a breach of a number of his rights, including under the European Convention on Human Rights, and would be contrary to public policy.  He also seeks aggravated and/or exemplary damages.

Frank Beatty BL, for Mr McKillen, told the Master yesterday it is his client's claim that there were communications between personnel in the Department of Finance, and in NAMA, with the Barclays side.

In the papers presented to court, it is claimed those communications were entirely improper and render the sale of the loans to the Barclays or related entities unlawful and contrary to public policy.

For that reason he was seeking the attendance of those individuals.

The Master, who deals with pre-trial applications in advance of hearings, said he would grant the orders sought and reserved the question of costs of the application

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