Wednesday 21 March 2018

Settlement in High Court case between Blackrock Clinic doctor brothers

Settlement in High Court case between Blackrock Clinic doctor brothers
Settlement in High Court case between Blackrock Clinic doctor brothers Newsdesk Newsdesk

A SETTLEMENT has been reached in a shareholders dispute between consultant obstetrician brothers Joseph and James Sheehan relating to a company that owns a half share of the private Galway Clinic.

At the High Court earlier today, Mr Justice Donald Binchy adjourned the matter to June 30 to allow for implementation of the settlement.

Chicago-based Joseph Sheehan had brought proceedings under the Companies Act against his brother James, a consultant obstetrician practising in Dublin, arising from a dispute concerning Blackrock Medical Partners Ltd (BMP).

The brothers, both aged in their seventies, each own a 50 per cent shareholding in the company, which in turn owns a half share of the Galway Clinic. In addition to their medical practices, the brothers have significant commercial interests, the court was told.

The proceedings had opened briefly on Wednesday before being adjourned to allow for resumption of discussions between the sides.

Michael Cush SC, for Joseph Sheehan, told Mr Justice Binchy on Wednesday the sides had an agreement "in principle" but needed to put it in writing and hoped to have it settled by the morning failing which the case would proceed.

If agreement was reached, it would end "a long running and painful dispute" and his side considered a key element of a settlement involved a valuation of Joseph Sheehan's shareholding, counsel outlined.

Earlier, counsel said BMP was incorporated in 2000 and both brothers had initially advanced the same amount of funds towards development of the Galway centre and both provided guarantees to Allied Irish Banks as security for further funding.

It was initially envisaged they would be the only two involved in the company and Galway development but they later encountered difficulties both with the developer and funding and required the involvement of other investors.

A shareholders agreement was executed in May 2004, counsel also outlined. Prior to that, actual ownership of the clinic was transferred to another company, he said.

Talks between the sides continued throughout Thursday until the matter was later adjourned to allow for implementation of settlement.

In separate proceedings, the High Court last January ruled Talos Capital Ltd was entitled to a €2.7m judgment against Joseph Sheehan and John Flynn, two of the main shareholders in Dublin's Blackrock Clinic. That judgment has been stayed pending an appeal which is listed for hearing next month.

Talos sought the judgment over alleged "material" default on a loan agreement for €2.4m for a proposed transaction, which ultimately did not proceed, under which the defendants were to acquire their loans relating to the Blackrock Clinic and the associated security from Irish Bank Resolution Corporation. The defendants had disputed those claims.

Talos later secured charging orders over Joseph Sheehan's shares in BMP and also secured charging  orders over shares held by Joseph Sheehan and John Flynn in another company operating Dublin's Blackrock Clinic.

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