Thursday 26 April 2018

Courts freeze global assets of Irish developer who was previously named in Panama Papers controversy

Developer was previously named in the Panama Papers controversy

The Villa Egerton pool and house in the background. Inset: Michael Maye at a charity dinner.
The Villa Egerton pool and house in the background. Inset: Michael Maye at a charity dinner.
The Villa Egerton pool and house in the background
Michael Maye at a charity dinner in Monaco

Sean Duffy & Dearbhail McDonald

The High Court in London has issued an order freezing the global assets of Irish developer Michael Maye.

The freezing order, the second such order to be issued in as many years, follows a Stg£1.2m dispute with a London based consortium over certain property investments.

The High Court in London heard that the investors may seek to have Maye, previously named in the Panama Papers controversy, adjudicated a bankrupt in Ireland.

Maye, who is in the process of selling his exclusive Villa Egerton on the French Riviera, said monies were paid to the claimants' lawyers.

However legal representatives for the claimants counterclaimed that the monies had not been received by close of business last Friday.

The matter is set to be resolved early next week on receipt of some stg£316, 910 plus legal costs to the claimants.

However the freezing order, whose existence had to be notified to Maye's creditors and bankers, remains in place until August 15th when the matter comes back before the High Court in London.

The freezing order allows Maye to spend Stg£3,000 a week towards his ordinary living expenses, with some Stg£75,000 for legal expenses.

Maye faces contempt of court proceedings if he does not comply with the order issued by High Court judge Mrs Justice Sarah Asplin last Tuesday.

The Sunday Independent has learned that an initial freezing order was issued by the High Court in London in September 2015.

But that injunction was discharged following an agreement that Maye would pay Stg£975,000 into court to help resolve the issues between the parties.

At that time, the High Court heard that the continuation of the freezing order could cause him to lose several property transactions valued at almost €3m.

Further legal action ensued over a remaining Stg£305,000 resulting in a new freezing order being issued last Tuesday.

Under the terms of the order, Maye can not remove any assets from England and Wales up to the value of Stg£340,000 and can not dispose of, deal with or diminish the value of any of his assets up to the same value.

While Maye has managed to maintain a relatively low public profile here in Ireland, he has lived the proverbial lifestyle of the rich and famous for many years, shuttling back and forth between his bases in London and on the French Riviera. He holds a commercial pilot's licence and is an avid flier, posting numerous videos of his flights on YouTube.

Maye's name briefly came to prominence here in Ireland in 1999 after he acquired Killiney House on Killiney Hill Road from Simple Minds lead singer Jim Kerr and his then partner, actress Patsy Kensit for €3.8m. He invested heavily in the property and its gardens before selling it on for €9m, allowing him to double his money.

Sunday Indo Business

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