Saturday 16 December 2017

Ex-directors appeal against court's green light for Belfry investor cases

The appeal centres on property funds promoted by Allied Irish Bank between 2002 and 2006
The appeal centres on property funds promoted by Allied Irish Bank between 2002 and 2006

Tim Healy

An appeal has been brought against a High Court ruling which cleared the way to trial for hundreds of damages actions brought by investors in property funds promoted by Allied Irish Bank.

Last April, in a decision on a preliminary issue, concerning more than 300 actions over Belfry Funds, Mr Justice Robert Haughton held that while elements of the claims are statue barred, the cases can go ahead.

The investors have sued over losses they sustained after they put money into five Belfry Funds.

The funds were invested in commercial property in the UK.

They allege the funds were promoted between 2002 and 2006 by the bank and five directors of various companies in the Belfry Properties group, including property investor Tony Kilduff and former head of AIB private banking John Rockett.

The defendants, who deny claims against them, have appealed the judgment on the preliminary issues.

Their appeal has been lodged with the Court of Appeal and will be mentioned there early next month.

No stay has been placed on Mr Justice Haughton's order.

The cases were briefly mentioned on Monday in the Commercial Court before Mr Justice Brian McGovern who adjourned the matter to a date in October.

In their claim, the investors say they each invested between €75,000 and €440,000 in the funds between 2002 and 2006.

Following the collapse of the funds, they brought claims seeking damages.

They claim the defendants were negligent, acted in breach of contract, and in breach of fiduciary duty in the manner they operated the funds.

The claims are denied.

Irish Independent

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