Business Irish

Sunday 18 March 2018

Anglo secures €20m judgment orders related to property firms


Aoife Finneran

ANGLO Irish Bank has secured judgment orders totalling more than €20m arising from loans and guarantees of the liabilities of two property companies whose proposed schemes included a "tax-driven" hotel and a park-and-ride project at the Cliffs of Moher.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly granted judgment for some €10.4m against John Flanagan, a builder, of Ballyvara House, Doolin, Co Clare; some €6.4m against Gerard Lillis, also a builder, of Alva Cree, Kilrush, Co Clare; and some €3.35m against Ted Joyce, an architect, of Marine Village, Ballina, Co Tipperary. The three men consented to the orders.

The claim by Anglo arose mainly from the liabilities of Liscannor Properties Ltd and Atlantis Development Ltd and guarantees allegedly provided by the defendants over those liabilities. The bank had previously appointed a receiver over properties of the companies.

The three men had initially opposed the bank's claim on grounds including that Anglo effectively acted as partner and co-venturer with the companies.

They also counter-claimed over alleged breach of contract and agreements by the bank, including alleged repudiation of its agreement to finance and support the park-and-ride project.

It was also claimed the bank had made representations that various loans, including for the hotel and park-and-ride facility, would involve the bank's recourse being limited to property and having no recourse to investors.

It was claimed that the bank's later refusal to make finance available on a non-recourse basis meant the defendants lost the benefit of the projects and suffered serious economic loss and damage, including damage to reputations.

It was also claimed that the bank had represented it would not seek performance of the loans until the park-and-ride facility was operational.

Mr Flanagan also alleged that Anglo had induced him into borrowing €150,000 from it to invest in the Jaguar investment fund operated by executives of the bank and to invest about €80,000 of his own money in the same fund. Anglo had denied these claims.

Proceedings were at hearing for a number of days in the Commercial Court before Mr Justice Kelly was told by Cian Ferriter, for Anglo, that Mr Joyce was consenting to judgement.

Mr Flanagan and Mr Lillis consented last Friday.

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