Tuesday 21 November 2017

Author left with €2m debt over deceased's partner's loans taken out 'without her knowledge'

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)

Tim Healy

AUTHOR Mary Rose Glennon claims she has been left with a €2m debt because of an alleged failure by a law firm to properly supervise her now deceased partner who worked for the firm and who took out mortgages on their properties without her knowledge.

Ms Glennon, who is described in her High Court proceedings as a retired copywriter living in Newcastle, Co Wicklow, has sued Hugh J Ward & Co, of Seville Place, Dublin.

She lived in Newcastle with Earl Gollogly, who she says was a partner in HJ Ward and carried out consultancy work for them until December 2006.  He died testate on September 12, 2013.

HJ Ward says her claims are without foundation.  The firm says Mr Gollogly operated consultancy offices between 2001 and 2006 from his Wicklow home and only spent a few days a month in the Dublin offices. It also says Ms Glennon acted as Mr Gollogly's legal secretary.

She was a highly educated author and freelance writer who appeared, on the basis of what she said herself, to have consciously signed documentation which she now says was done without her knowledge, it is claimed.

The law firm applied to have the case dealt with in the fast-track Commercial Court because it was an urgent matter.  From investigations so far, going back over ten years, there was no basis for her allegations, it claimed.

Lawyers for Ms Glennon were not opposed to entry of the case into the commercial list but said there may be a second set of proceedings against another firm of solicitors.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern, head of the Commercial Court, refused to admit the case to the list saying he was not satisfied the matter had proceeded as expeditiously as it might have.  It now goes through the normal High Court list.

In a statement of claim, Ms Glennon said she and Mr Gollogly owned four properties bought jointly by them in the 1990s.  They are two houses in Belgrave Square, Ranelagh, and Grosvenor Road, Rathmines, both Dublin; another property at Seapoint Court, Bray, Co Wicklow, and a commercial premises in Camden Street, Dublin.

She says that in 2005, Mr Gollogly, without her knowledge or consent, got mortgages totalling €750,000 from AIB on Belgrave Square.

The same year, he mortgaged the Camden Street property,  again with AIB, for €400,000, she says.

In 2006, he got €700,000 from Permanent TSB mortgaged on Grosvenor Road and Seapoint, she says. The application for this loan was was purportedly on her behalf, Mr Gollogly's behalf and and for Mr Gallogly's son, Cormac Gollogly.

He got a further €1.25m, from PTSB, that same year under another mortgage for Grosvenor Road.

In each instance, she says she was required to sign documentation by Mr Gollogly which he misrepresented the nature of to her.  She was unaware of the contents or nature of the documents.

HJ Ward & Co, its servants or agents, purported to witness her signature on documents in her absence, she says.

 

The monies for the loans were forwarded, following solicitor's cheque requisitions signed by the law firm, to accounts in Mr Gollogly's sole name, she says.

 

The transactions were facilitated and/or contributed to by the negligence, breach of duty and misrepresentation on the part of the defendant firm, she says.

 

Those failures, she alleges, include not exercising supervisory control over Mr Gollogly in the course of his employment and not putting in place safeguards to prevent employees or agents facilitating loans/mortgages to the detriment of others.

 

Ms Glennon says she had no awareness of the transactions until after his death in 2013. 

 

She says the funds from them were used by Mr Gollogly for the purchase of UK property in his name and his brother's name.

 

AIB has appointed a receiver over the Belgrave Square and Camden Street properties.

 

PTSB requires her to make repayments totalling €2,862 per month on the €2m outstanding on its loans.

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