Wednesday 22 November 2017

Marley's Ely battles court petition for wind-up of property firm

Tim Healy

AN application has been made to the High Court to wind up a property firm founded by businessman and developer Philip Marley.

Copsey Murray Chartered Accountants have petitioned the court to have Ely Property Group Ltd wound up and a liquidator appointed on the grounds that the company is unable to pay a debt of €53,000 it claims for services provided.

Copsey Murray, who acted as the firms auditors, say that Ely, which is a Dublin-registered holding company for firms involved in property development and management, is insolvent and unable to pay its debts.

Ely has opposed the application.

In an affidavit to the court, London-based Mr Marley, who is Ely's managing director, disputes the debt.

His solicitor, Robert Dore, said his client's position was that the company is solvent and the application to wind up the firm was "an abuse of process" and "motivated by malice".

The court also heard yesterday that joint liquidators appointed to another firm in the UK of which Mr Marley was a director was supporting the application.

The petition came before Ms Justice Mary Laffoy, who said she would give her decision next week.

John Kennedy, for Copsey Murray, said his client commenced providing services for Ely in 2009. It invoiced Ely for more than €80,000 for services provided, but was only paid a sum of €32,000.


Counsel said that his client's engagement had always been with the Ely Property Group, and that the company had no defence to the petition.

The court also heard that Julia Ind, a director of Ely Property Group, was supporting the application to have the company wound up. She had resigned as a director last July, however her resignation had not been officially recorded by the Companies Registration Office.

In reply, Mr Dore said the debt was disputed, and the application to have the company wound up should be struck out.

His client's contention was the monies claimed were not owed by Ely, and the matter should be resolved at a full hearing of the court.

Mr Marley, in his affidavit, said Copsey Murray was engaged to provide services to Ely and subsidiary companies.

In 2011, the accountants invoiced Ely for services provided to the subsidiaries.

This policy breached what was agreed, and was utterly unacceptable. It was impossible to work out what was owed by Ely and what was owed by the subsidiaries.

Ely was not responsible for the fees due by other companies. He said that he informed Copsey Murray of this.

He said while Copsey Murray had initially invoiced individuals companies, by 2012 it reverted to its early practice. He said Copsey Murray did not provide him with a breakdown of fees.

Mr Marley moved to London last November and did not know about the petition until it appeared in the newspapers. After learning of its existence, he instructed solicitors.

Mr Marley added that Ms Ind was motivated by malice towards him.

She was asked to resign from the company and had no active role in the group for some considerable time.

Irish Independent

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