Thursday 14 December 2017

David Drumm ditches legal team and decides to represent himself in bankruptcy appeal

David Drumm. Photo: AP
David Drumm. Photo: AP

Shane Phelan Public Affairs Editor

Former Anglo Irish Bank boss David Drumm has dramatically dismissed the legal team which had been representing him in his bankruptcy appeal.

In a legal filing, he told a US appeals court he would be representing himself in the case in which he is seeking to strike down the decision of a bankruptcy judge to deny him protection from creditors.

Without such protection he remains open to lawsuits for the recovery of his debts of over €10m.

Mr Drumm (49) also sought an eight week extension to a March 1 deadline he is facing to lodge papers with the US Court of Appeals, claiming this was reasonable if he is to represent himself.

It is unclear what bearing, if any, the decision will have on his anticipated return to Ireland.

Mr Drumm is currently in a maximum security prison in Massachusetts awaiting extradition to Ireland to face 33 charges relating to his time as chief executive of Anglo.

It had been thought his extradition could take place within weeks of his decision on February 11 not to contest the issue. No date for his return has been announced yet.

In the legal filing, a lawyer for Mr Drumm said he was presently incarcerated by the United States Marshals Service in the Plymouth County Correctional Facility.

"As a result of his incarceration and the severe restrictions and limitations of the Plymouth facility, as well as the fact that his attorneys are located in New York, Mr Drumm has not been able to adequately confer with counsel and review the record," said lawyer Edward McNally.

The lawyer said Mr Drumm had authorised his legal team to withdraw from the case and would proceed "pro se", meaning he will represent himself.

In seeking additional time to lodge appeal papers, Mr McNally said: "The size of the record in this matter is voluminous, and it is necessary that Mr Drumm have an adequate opportunity to review the contents of such record prior to filing the brief."

He indicated that the bankruptcy trustee handling the case and the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, which is the largest creditor, had not agreed to the requested extension, meaning a judge will have to rule on the issue.

Mr Drumm’s faces an uphill battle to overturn the decision not to discharge him as a bankrupt.

His original application for bankruptcy protection was rejected in January 2015 when Boston Judge Frank Bailey issued a 122 page judgment.

A first appeal judge upheld the decision last November.

Judge Leo Sorokin said Judge Bailey had "made no mistake" in his findings against Mr Drumm.

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