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Solicitors in Lynch case point blame at each other in €25m deal

SOLICITORS who advised Philip Lynch's family on a failed €25m land deal have blamed each other for giving advice that led them to believe AIB only wanted recourse to the site if the deal collapsed and would not be pursuing the family.

Yesterday, the Commercial Court heard that the Lynch family's solicitors LK Shields, who advised them on the Waterford land investment, sent emails stating that AIB only wanted recourse to the land if the deal collapsed and would not be pursuing them for any other monies owed. The family claim this was always their belief.

Ronan McLoughlin, a partner in Matheson Ormsby Prentice (MOP) solicitors, which advised the Lynch family's co-investor Gerry Conlan on the deal, denied that he provided information to LK Shields which could have led to the Lynch family being informed that the loans were non-recourse.

Emmet Scully, a partner at LK Shields, said the emails sent by other solicitors with his firm were based on information given to them by Mr McLoughlin. The solicitors deny the Lynch family's claims that they were negligent in their advice.

The case is in its fifth week and one solicitor reckons that whoever loses is facing a bill of about €30m, including the €25.3m loan plus interest, and huge legal costs.

Mr McLoughlin and Mr Scully are expected to be amongst the final witnesses to be heard that could mean it will wrap by the end of this week. The Lynch family will then have to await the judge's ruling on the matter.

Suing advisers over alleged negligent advice is a growing phenomenon in the wake of the property-market collapse as investors try to protect themselves from enormous debts.

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