Bid to have Philip Marley declared bankrupt
A BID is being made to have well known businessman Philip Marley declared a bankrupt.
Malachy Stephens wants Mr Marley, the founder of Ely Properties, to be adjudicated a bankrupt due to Mr Marley's failure to satisfy a judgment €37,142 obtained against the businessman at Dublin Circuit Court in July 2011.
In proceedings before the High Court, Mr Marley has also applied to have the bid to adjudicate him bankrupt struck out. He disputes the debt claimed and also says that his main centre of business interest is outside the jurisdiction.
The court heard in 2004 Mr Stephens leased an apartment he owned to a company of Mr Marley's, Student Accommodation Services lad at Railway Street Beaver Street in Dublin 1 for a term of 10 years.
The annual rent on the apartment was €15,000 per year. However in 2009 Mr Stephens said that he only received half the rent due between March-June of that year, and received no payments from August of that year.
Mr Stephens, with an address at Presentation House, Harbour Street, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, sued Mr Marley over personal guarantees given by Mr Marley. Mr Marley had guaranteed the performance of the company's obligations to the landlords.
He claims Mr Marley is domiciled in Ireland and that either he or his company had withheld rents that were due and owing to him. He obtained a judgment against Mr Marley, and in light of his failure to satisfy that demand now wants the court to adjudge him as being bankrupt.
Today, under cross examination by counsel for Mr Stephens, Mr Marley denied he resides in Ireland, or that he conducts business from here.
Mr Marley said he left Ireland in 2010 because he "could not make any money here," following the collapse of the property market. This had also lead to the break up of his marriage, he added.
He said he resides and conducts his business interests from London. He has a house in Chelsea, which he shared with his girlfriend, business partner and US reality TV star Dana Wilkey.
He told the court that he works as a consultant and is involved in a number of different projects. He said that he also spends time in Gibraltar and in the US. He said he spends just a few days in Ireland per month to visit his kids and stays "in the Shelbourne Hotel."
He was unsure as to exactly how much time he spent in each location.
He said he would need his PA to provide him with that sort of information because he was just "that kind of a guy."
Mr Marley said in relation to the rents on the apartment that occupancy rates fell when the property market crashed. He said there was "no debt" owing to Mr Stephens, and that he had come to court in Ireland to oppose the petition as "a matter of principle."
He said in 2012 he negotiated a deal with Mr Stephens after entering into a Individual Voluntary Arrangement in the UK. That agreement, where the lease on the apartment was assigned to a separate UK based firm Space Student Living Ltd, so that Mr Stephens could recoup some funds.
While Mr Stephens claims that it was never a term of that deal that Mr Marley be released from his guarantee Mr Marley said the deal extinguished any personal guarantee debt he had to Mr Stephens.
Mr Marley also told the court that he had subsequently left Space Student Living, which was wound up earlier this year, following disagreements with other parties in the firm.
The hearing will resume later this week.