Wednesday 13 December 2017

ACC sues solicitor in land deal for €7m damages

Tim Healy

ACC Bank is claiming €7m in damages from a solicitor over his alleged failure to ensure the lender had good security for a loan to a property developer.

The bank is claiming negligence by Brian Johnston, practising as Brian Johnston & Company Solicitors, Park Street, Dundalk, in relation to his alleged failure to put in place securities for the loan to purchase 103 acres at Castlewarden, Naas, Kildare.

Property developer Francis Tiernan, of Longfield Road, Newry, Co Down, got the loan in 2006 with the intention of selling the lands on again within a year at a profit.

This practice, known as "flipping", was not unusual at that time, Mr Justice Frank Clarke said yesterday when the proceedings by ACC came before him in the Commercial Court.

The judge also remarked that it seemed from a list of properties connected with Mr Tiernan that ACC had good cover for its loans at the time they were made.

Lyndon MacCann, counsel for ACC, said the bank had believed Mr Tiernan had enough assets to cover his borrowings.

Mr Johnston denies negligence and has also alleged failures by Joseph Traynor, of Traynor Mallon solicitors, to honour alleged undertakings given by Mr Traynor to ensure the bank had good security.

Mr Johnston has also alleged ACC had agreed to allow the loan be drawn down on the undertaking of Mr Traynor to take the necessary steps to ensure that the bank had good title to the lands at Naas.

The case continues.

Irish Independent

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