Business Irish

Friday 6 December 2019

Businessmen due back in court for appeals

Shane Hickey London

TWO high-profile cases involving Irish businessmen are set to return to the courts in London within the next week as both developer Paddy McKillen and solicitor Brian O'Donnell launch appeals.

Mr McKillen has bolstered his legal team in advance of his case in the Court of Appeal next week in the continuing battle over the ownership of three landmark London hotels.

Last August, a judge ruled against him after he sued David and Frederick Barclay, the owners of the Telegraph media group, over their attempts to take over Coroin, the €1.2bn company which owns Claridge's, the Connaught and the Berkeley hotels.

His appeal, which is expected to start on Tuesday, surrounds a number of issues including whether there was a deal between the Barclays and the financier Derek Quinlan over shares and whether Mr McKillen could have raised the money to buy the shares, amongst others.

In the ruling from last August, the judge said a shareholders' agreement was not breached when Mr Quinlan transferred ownership of his shares to the Barclays.

Mr McKillen has added former British attorney general Peter Goldsmith to his team ahead of the action.

Tomorrow, Brian O'Donnell, who recently lost a court bid to have bankruptcy declared in the UK, is due to have his case mentioned in the London High Court in an appeal based around new evidence.

Last month, a High Court judge in London ruled that Mr O'Donnell was not "a frank, or even a wholly truthful witness" when he rejected a bid for bankruptcy by the solicitor and his wife Mary Patricia.

The judgment followed a two-week hearing during which Bank of Ireland argued they should be bankrupted in Ireland.

Last week, the High Court in Dublin adjourned bankruptcy proceedings after it heard that the couple are bringing proceedings in London under the Insolvency Act seeking the court there to rescind its own order.

They are appealing on the basis of new evidence, the High Court in Dublin heard. The Irish proceedings have been adjourned until Monday.

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