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BoI to sue its own solicitors over loan security

A BANK is suing a firm of solicitors for allegedly failing to put in place the necessary charges to ensure it had security for loans advanced for several property deals.

Bank of Ireland (BoI) claims it advanced loans of €2.8m and $900,000 (€662,000) on the basis of it having a first legal charge over various properties.

It later learned other financial institutions had prior securities over properties in Galway while, it claims, there was no security at all in place for a development of 14 apartments in Sligo.

The action is against Donal Downes, practising as O'Dea & Co. solicitors, Hardiman House, Eyre Square, Galway.

Transferring the case to the Commercial Court yesterday, Mr Justice Peter Kelly remarked that while it is not usual for a bank to sue its solicitor, such actions were becoming "less unusual".

The case relates to alleged agreements of the solicitor firm to act for BoI in connection with taking securities arising from the purchase of a property at Bramley, Maree Road, Oranmore, Co Galway; a property at Lakeview, Claregalway; 14 apartments at Ballymote Road, Tubbercurry, Co Sligo and a property at Fearran Ri, Doughiska, Co Galway.

Because of alleged acts and omissions of the defendants, the bank claims it had suffered and continues to suffer loss and damage and is unable to deal with the properties. It is seeking orders requiring the securities be put in place or damages.

Irish Independent