Business Irish

Friday 23 August 2019

Marlet claims firm trying to frustrate costs recovery

High court hears challenge by Marlet company Balark
High court hears challenge by Marlet company Balark
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

a COMPANY linked to Pat Crean's Marlet Property Group has challenged the voluntary liquidation of a rival company with whom it had a dispute over a prime site in Dublin's Docklands.

The Marlet company, Balark, has told the High Court that it believes the voluntary liquidation process is designed to frustrate its efforts to recover legal costs arising from that dispute.

After a court ruling in its favour earlier this year, Balark pursued the company called Chambury for its costs.

Chambury's directors included Jodie Ronan, daughter of developer Johnny Ronan.

Ms Ronan is listed in Companies Registration Office documents as the Ronan Group's company secretary.

Mr Ronan was not a director of Chambury but he is listed as a director of Ardquade Ltd, which is listed as the sole shareholder in Chambury, in the most recent Companies Registration Office documents.

Balark went to the High Court after Chambury published a notice saying it was going to wind itself up on a voluntary basis.

A creditors' meeting was held - where it was agreed that a liquidator would be appointed. At the meeting, Balark was admitted to the list of creditors for €310,000. Balark contends however that it is owed more than €1.1m. It is seeking to have the court appoint a liquidator to deal with the matter.

The High Court has heard that among the matters it has raised concerns about are aspects of a transfer, by Chambury, of an asset to another company.

Balark has told the court that it believes this to be an attempt by Chambury to put assets beyond the reach of its creditors.

The matter came before Ms Justice Caroline Costello in the High Court on Thursday.

Marlet declined to comment. A representative for the Chambury directors was contacted and, on their behalf, categorically rejected that there was "any unlawful conduct in relation to the affairs of the company".

The representative said the company was entitled to defend itself against any litigation brought against it or initiated against it by Balark in respect of the company's property.

The High Court ruled in Balark's favour in March in the earlier dispute, surrounding the docklands site where Marlet has been working towards a major development.

The row was centred on a number of strips of land at the site, where Balark owned the leasehold interests and Chambury owned the freehold interests.

Ultimately, the High Court ruled that Balark was entitled to acquire a number of the strips in question, paving the way for the development.

Irish Independent

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