independent

Friday 25 April 2014

Sean Quinn Jnr pledges to help Anglo get back €500m of assets

SEAN Quinn Jnr wants to help the former Anglo Irish Bank recoup up to €500m of overseas assets, the High Court was told yesterday.

Mr Quinn's new legal team said he had given "unequivocal" instructions to purge his contempt of the court orders not to interfere with the family's International Property Group (IPG), which had led to him serving three months in jail.

Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne, who jailed Mr Quinn on 20 July last, said this "sounds very promising" after being informed of Mr Quinn's intention by Ross Aylward.

Given the continuing exchange of correspondence between lawyers for Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) and the Quinn side, Shane Murphy SC, for the bank, said the sides had agreed the contempt proceedings against Mr Quinn Jnr, his father Sean Snr and his cousin Peter Darragh Quinn could be further adjourned.

Those contempt proceedings arose in the context of the bank's proceedings against the Quinn children and some of their spouses, as well as against Peter Darragh Quinn and several companies, aimed at protecting up to €430m assets in IPG.

Mr Murphy said new lawyers had come on record for the Quinn children and some of their spouses, but not for Sean Quinn Snr or Peter Darragh Quinn.

The court heard yesterday there was still no appearance by or on behalf of Peter Darragh Quinn, who was jailed in his absence at the same time as Sean Jnr was sent to prison.

A warrant issued by the judge for his arrest remains unexecuted as he continues to live at his home in the North.

Sean Quinn Snr was jailed last month for nine weeks, and the judge was told by Karen Nolan BL that he had instructed his lawyers on November 7 that he no longer wished them to represent him.

The bank's counsel, Mr Murphy, also said yesterday that correspondence from IBRC had been sent to the Quinn side related to its intention to "recalibrate" some 30 coercive orders made by the judge last July aimed at reversing asset-stripping measures.

The bank has initiated that "recalibration" process in light of a Supreme Court decision that the High Court was not entitled to jail Sean Quinn Jnr indefinitely on foot of those orders in circumstances where there was no actual findings that he was involved in most of those asset-stripping measures.

Developments

Also yesterday, Mr Justice Frank Clarke ruled that a "material change of circumstances" justified granting a separate application by IBRC to set aside a previous court decision referring a legal issue raised by the Quinns to the European Court of Justice.

That issue was whether the courts here or in Cyprus should determine the dispute between IBRC and the Quinns about their international businesses.

The Quinns had argued that the Cyprus courts should decide the matter, but the judge directed the reference should be set aside given several developments in the case, including the loss of a court action in Cyprus by the Quinns.

In the changed circumstances, the legal proceedings here will be over long before the Quinn Cypriot proceedings can even get significantly off the ground, he noted.

Irish Independent

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