Saturday 16 December 2017

Appeal over O'Donnell bankruptcy to be heard in July

AN appeal over the declaration of bankruptcy against solicitor Brian O'Donnell and his wife, Dr Mary Patricia O'Donnell, will be heard by the Supreme Court on July 23.

The couple were adjudicated bankrupt over failure to pay a €70m judgment obtained against them by Bank of Ireland.

In March 2012, the O'Donnells applied for bankruptcy in the UK, having apparently moved there in late 2011.

Bank of Ireland's petition, which was moved in June 2012, was stayed pending the outcome of the English proceedings.

In November 2012, the High Court of England and Wales dismissed the couple's petitions after finding that, as of March 27, 2012, when those petitions were presented, their centre of main business interests was not in England.

The bank's application in Ireland then proceeded and was granted by Mr Justice Peter Charleton in August 2013.

The couple have appealed to the Supreme Court arguing Mr Justice Charleton erred on a number of grounds, including by deciding the appropriate date for ascertaining the couple's centre of main interests was the date of the presentation of the petition, June 2012. 

It should have been, they contended, the date of the hearing of the petition, July 16, 2013.

Also yesterday,  Chief Justice Susan Denham fixed July 2 for hearing a separate appeal against a High Court decision on an issue raised in proceedings in which Bank of Ireland alleges fraud against the couple and their sons Blake and Bruce over allegedly conspiring to put in place a scheme to put property assets in London beyond its reach.

It is claimed the O'Donnells' acted unlawfully to make themselves "judgment proof" following the €70m judgment being entered in the Commercial Court against Brian and Mary Patricia O'Donnell. 

The claims are denied.

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