Tuesday 24 October 2017

Blow to Sean Quinn case as key lawyer Rossa quits

Rossa Fanning (left): has quit
Sean Quinn's (right) legal team
Rossa Fanning (left): has quit Sean Quinn's (right) legal team
Sean Quinn

Dearbhail McDonald Legal Editor

A KEY member of the legal team representing bankrupt businessman Sean Quinn has quit ahead of a crucial court date which will decide if Ireland's former richest man goes to jail.

The Irish Independent has learnt that Rossa Fanning, one of the barristers representing Sean Quinn Snr, his son Sean Quinn Jnr and nephew Peter Darragh Quinn in contempt proceedings brought against the trio by the former Anglo Irish Bank, has resigned his brief.

The departure, last Tuesday, of Mr Fanning is being viewed in the law library as a blow to the Quinns.

IBRC, formerly Anglo, told High Court judge Mr Justice Peter Kelly this week that a video recording of a January 2012 meeting in Kiev, Ukraine -- showing Peter Quinn and Sean Quinn Jnr discussing movement of money -- demonstrated Peter Quinn was "prepared to lie" to the High Court.

It also showed Peter Quinn stating he was in breach of a court injunction and, when asked would he lie in his testimony, laughing and responding: "I'd have to lie . . . that wouldn't overly worry me."

The footage also showed a discussion regarding Peter Quinn and Sean Quinn Jnr's desire to find a way to move $100,000 (€79,775) in cash from Kiev to another account in a way that would not be detected, said IBRC's Richard Woodhouse.

It is understood the video led to a conflict between the three men and their legal team who yesterday secured a variation of the freezing orders to pay a €430,000 legal bill for the last three months.

Last night, Mr Fanning declined to comment on his reasons for leaving the stellar legal team led by senior counsels Bill Shipsey and Brian O'Moore, instructed by Dermot McEvoy, a partner in Dublin law firm Eversheds.

Eversheds also declined to comment on his departure, citing client confidentiality.

Mr Fanning, a former UCD law lecturer, is one of the busiest lawyers practising in the fast-track Commercial Court list.

The variation on the freezing orders against the Quinns was agreed yesterday by the IBRC.

The €430,000 fees include a €135,000 fee to Eversheds for 485 hours worked on behalf of the family between May 12 and June 29 last.

Those fees are based on hourly rates of €370 per partner, €282 for senior solicitors, €227 for solicitors and €97 for trainee solicitors. Eversheds may also be paid an additional sum up to €150,000 (net of VAT) for further work from this month up to early August.

Irish Independent

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