Thursday 19 July 2018

INM seeking damages from former chairman for alleged breach of duty

Independent House, Talbot Street, Dublin
Independent House, Talbot Street, Dublin
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

Legal proceedings issued by Independent News & Media (INM) against its former chairman Leslie Buckley involve a claim for damages for alleged breach of duty and misrepresentation, the High Court has heard.

The media group will also seek to recover from Mr Buckley the cost of any damage caused by alleged wrongdoing on his part.

But Mr Buckley has claimed INM is "maliciously scapegoating" him.

Proceedings were initiated against him by INM in May, but no details have been made public before now.

The main thrust of the lawsuit was disclosed in court yesterday by Brian Murray SC, counsel for Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE).

INM will face substantial costs should the ODCE succeed in an application being heard by High Court President Peter Kelly for the appointment of inspectors to the company. Mr Buckley is a central figure in several issues of concern investigated by the ODCE, including the "interrogation" of large amounts of company data.

Mr Murray said Mr Buckley had corresponded with the ODCE and insisted the only data interrogation he was involved in was a "cost reduction exercise".

Mr Buckley has always maintained he was searching for details about a contract INM had with a solicitor.

Paul Gallagher SC, for INM, said it had received correspondence from Mr Buckley's solicitors rejecting allegations made against him. "But in truth he does not make a substantial response," said Mr Gallagher.

Commenting on the correspondence, Mr Justice Kelly said it was being alleged INM was "maliciously scapegoating" Mr Buckley.

The former chairman stepped down from INM's board in March.

Irish Independent

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