NAMA pursues businessman over €29m debt

Monday 14 January 2013 18.01
Lawyers for NAMA told the court there was concern about a series of transactions relating to more than 40 properties
Lawyers for NAMA told the court there was concern about a series of transactions relating to more than 40 properties

A Dublin businessman who is being pursued by NAMA for a debt of €29m has been given more time to outline his objections to its entry to the fast-track Commercial Court list.

The court heard NAMA is seeking judgment for €29m against David Cullen, who has addresses at Claremont Road Dublin 18 and Kelvin Court, Kensington Park in London.

Lawyers for NAMA told the court there was concern about a series of transactions relating to more than 40 properties being transferred to his wife and others without the consent of the bank.

Counsel for Mr Cullen said it was denied the bank ever had any security over the assets in question.

Senior Counsel Martin Hayden said Mr Cullen would be objecting to the case being entered to the Commercial Court list on grounds of delay and jurisdiction.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly said the defendant would have an uphill battle to face on the jurisdiction issue, as all the contracts at issue were subject to Irish law.

The judge said just because Mr Cullen had "gone off to live in England" that did not mean the court had no jurisdiction to deal with the matters.

There were also specific clauses in the loan agreements on jurisdiction, the judge noted.

Mr Justice Kelly also noted that the current case pre-dated bankruptcy proceedings, which began in the UK earlier this month.

Lawyers for NAMA told the court there was no delay on the part of the bank in issuing proceedings.

Senior Counsel Maurice Collins said the bank had been engaging with Mr Cullen, who had submitted a business plan, but it was subsequently rejected.

He said there had been difficulties getting him to engage and there had been meetings that Mr Cullen had walked out of.

Mr Justice Kelly said in the interests of justice Mr Cullen should be allowed time to submit a sworn statement setting out his case.