Sunday 24 September 2017

Yates awarded costs in legal fight over AIB debts

Ivan Yates
Ivan Yates

Aodhan O Faolain

FORMER Fine Gael minister and broadcaster Ivan Yates has been awarded the legal costs of his successful application to have AIB's bid to have him declared bankrupt dismissed.

In a judgment last August, Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne struck out a bankruptcy summons issued by AIB against Mr Yates, out of his alleged failure to meet the bank's demand for €3.69m repayment. This related to Celtic Bookmakers, the chain founded by Mr Yates, which collapsed in early 2011.

The judge said Mr Yates had raised "real and substantive issues" in respect of the amount sought by AIB.

The decision did not free the former minister from his debts or mean he is no longer under threat of bankruptcy.

But it does buy him time if he decides to take advantage of more lenient bankruptcy laws in the UK, where he is now living.

Yesterday, when the matter returned before the High Court, AIB asked for no order to be made in relation to legal costs.

AIB claimed that Mr Yates had not informed it, when he moved to south Wales earlier this year, that he intended to seek to be adjudicated as a bankrupt in that jurisdiction.

In reply, Mr Yates's lawyers claimed he was entitled to his costs as he had succeeded in his action. The court also heard last July that prior to the hearing of the action Mr Yates had refused to give an undertaking that he would not seek to be adjudicated bankrupt in the UK.

Ms Justice Dunne awarded Mr Yates his costs, which were not revealed in court, but are estimated at tens of thousands of euro. Mr Yates was not available for comment last night.

In the same court yesterday, Ms Justice Dunne adjourned an application by developer Thomas McFeely to review the decision to adjudicate him bankrupt.

Last July the judge declared the developer bankrupt after rejecting arguments by Mr McFeely that his centre of main business interest was the UK.

Irish Independent

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