Saturday 24 February 2018

D2 and owner to pay legal costs of failed Clerys case

Deirdre Foley
Deirdre Foley

Tim Healy

A company and its owner involved in the purchase of Clerys of Dublin must pay the legal costs of their unsuccessful challenge to an investigation into redundancies at the store, the High Court has ruled.

The order was made against D2 Private and its owner Deirdre Foley.

The ruling was made by Mr Justice Michael Twomey, who last month dismissed their action, which cleared the way for the investigation by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) to continue. The case was heard over five days and legal costs will run into an estimated six figures.

Judge Twomey said he did not see "any basis" for interfering with the investigation or for making orders directing that a laptop and documents seized from the D2 offices at Harcourt Terrace last May be returned.

Investment company D2 Private Ltd and Ms Foley had disputed the powers of the inspectors to search the D2 offices and take the materials.

The inspectors were appointed by the WRC after 460 workers at Clerys, 130 directly employed staff and 330 indirectly employed in the store, were made redundant on June 12, 2015.

The job losses came hours after Clerys was sold to the Natrium joint venture - comprising Cheyne Capital Management and D2 - by its previous owners, the US Gordon Brothers group.

As part of their investigation, the inspectors, accompanied by gardaí, removed items including a laptop computer and a number of documents, including invoices, from D2's offices.

Judge Twomey, in making the cost order in favour of the WRC and the inspectors, agreed to put a stay on his order in the event of an appeal. However, the court was not told if the judgment is to be appealed.

Irish Independent

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