Bank loses first round in €25.3m battle with businessman's family
SEPARATE disputes over whether businessman Philip Lynch, members of his family and a seventh investor are personally liable for repayment of €25.3m in property loans should be heard together, a judge has ruled.
Mr Justice Peter Kelly refused to grant AIB summary judgment in a ruling against one of the individuals involved, because he said information in proceedings taken by the other six individuals -- members of the Lynch family -- could be relevant.
AIB had asked the Commercial Court to make a summary judgment order against the seventh person, Gerard Conlan, of Bridlewood House, Forenaughts, Naas, Co Kildare.
Mr Conlan entered into co-ownership and profit agreement with the other six in relation to the purchase of 86 acres in Kilbarry, Co Waterford, with a view to securing planning permission for housing on part of the land.
The members of the Lynch family include Philip Lynch and Eileen Lynch, of Athgarvan Lodge, The Curragh, Co Kildare.
The other four people involved are Judith Whelan, Leinster Wood, Carton Demesne, Maynooth, Co Kildare; Therese Lynch, Ardoyne House, Pembroke Park, Dublin; Philippa Lynch, Burlington Gardens, Burlington Road, Dublin; and Paul Lynch, Oakley Road, Ranelagh, Dublin 6.
AIB had brought separate proceedings against the six and against Mr Conlan, claiming entitlement to summary judgment for €25.3m for the loans which were advanced in 2007.
The family brought its own proceedings against AIB and two solicitors firms, Matheson Ormsby Prentice Solicitors (MOPS) and LK Shields Solicitors, claiming they had been assured the loans would be "non-recourse" facilities, meaning the bank would not pursue them individually for repayment.
Judith Whelan, in an affidavit for the family, said one or more of the defendants, including AIB, "are irrefutably responsible for the clearest possible representation recorded by lawyers in writing that the Lynch family would have no personal liability".
Yesterday, the judge refused to enter summary judgment against Mr Conlan.
He said Mr Conlan, in essence, appeared to be making the same defence as the Lynch defendants in relation to the loans being non-recourse.
If the Lynchs are successful in their proceedings, it might provide some assistance to Mr Conlan, the judge said.
The court heard the Lynch case was scheduled for hearing on March 8 next and the judge said he hoped to deal with both cases together on that date.