Quinns granted adjournment on bank proceedings

Tuesday 25 September 2012 18.02
Seán Quinn's daughters and two sons-in-law were in court this morning to represent themselves
Seán Quinn's daughters and two sons-in-law were in court this morning to represent themselves

Members of the Quinn family have been granted a two week adjournment in the multi billion euro proceedings involving the former Anglo Irish Bank, now the Irish Banking Resolution Corporation.

The Quinns have said they expect to have legal representation soon and are consulting a British law firm, Edwin Coe.

They are also expected to bring an application to have the receiver appointed over their assets discharged, claiming there is a conflict of interest.

Niall McPartland said they had concerns the receiver was being "pointed in a particular direction by the bank" in seeking information about one of the Quinn companies.

This could not be allowed, he said, as any receiver must be totally independent.

He said this was the largest civil litigation case to come before the Irish courts and there could be no room for error.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly said no hard information in this regard had been put before the court. Mr McPartland could not "huff and puff and not blow the house down", the judge said.

He instructed the Quinns to make a sworn statement about their concerns regarding the receiver within one week. Mr Justice Kelly noted that Mr McPartland was a practicing solicitor until the end of 2011 so he "knew his way around" litigation.

With regard to legal advice, Mr McPartland said significant progress had been made but they needed a further adjournment.

Mr McPartland said there was "an absolute agenda" to take them off-guard while they had no legal representation and they should be allowed time to hire new solicitors.

He said there had been "an onslaught of correspondence" in recent weeks to each of the Quinn family members involved in the case and they were trying to keep up with it. Any case proceeding against them in the meantime could have devastating consequences, he said.

The Quinns had been requested by the receiver to hand over all records relating to their assets and tax affairs.

Aoife Quinn told the court this motion could not proceed as it could have dramatic consequences on their main case against the bank. The Quinns are denying liability for €2.3 billion in loans, which they claim were given illegally by the bank to prop up its share value. IBRC is pursuing the Quinns for €2.8 billion.

The receiver's motion was adjourned to 9 October.

Lawyers for the receiver objected to an adjournment, claiming Mr McPartland's allegations of a conflict of interest on the part of the receiver were an attempt to delay the case.

Counsel said the Quinns had not been cooperating with the receiver and the letter detailing the new legal firm in Britain had come at the last minute.

Counsel for IBRC said serious matters were arising with regard to disclosure and these would be brought before the court soon.

The case was before the Commercial Court again today to allow the Quinn family explain how they intend to proceed without legal representation.

The Quinns were also due to hand over information concerning their assets and tax affairs to the receiver.

Seán Quinn Sr's four daughters: Collette, Aoife, Brenda and Ciara, his two sons-in-law, Stephen Kelly and Niall McPartland and daughter-in-law Karen Woods were in court this morning to represent themselves.

His son Seán Quinn Jr, who is serving a three month sentence for contempt of court, did not attend, nor did his nephew Peter Darragh Quinn.