High Court grants judgment for €2m against Mick WallaceFriday 29 January 2016 22.36
The Commercial Court has granted summary judgment for €2m against Independent TD Mick Wallace.
The money was due under a guarantee and indemnity dated 30 March 2009 from Mr Wallace who was a director of M&J Wallace.
At a hearing earlier this week the court was told M&J Wallace received a loan facility of just over €2m in June 2009 from Ulster Bank.
Mr Wallace accepts he gave a guarantee and that the money has not been repaid.
The loan was taken over by a company called Promontoria (Aran) Limited - a subsidiary of the US private-equity fund Cerberus. and was called in last November
Mr Wallace argued he had a defence to the application and wanted the matter to be sent to a full hearing.
The court heard Mr Wallace had expressed concern that Promontoria had not produced enough evidence to show that the loan was validly assigned to it.
His lawyers told the court there was no evidence to show the person who had accepted the assignment of the loan on behalf of Promontoria was authorised to do so.
However in a judgment this morning Mr Justice Brian McGovern said there was ample evidence to show the assignment was made in writing under the hand of the bank by a duly authorised officer.
The judge said Mr Wallace had made a number of assertions on the issue as to whether or not Promontoria was the successor in title to the bank and had properly acquired the bank's rights.
He said such assertions were not supported by any evidence and were expressed in the most tentative terms.
He said Promontoria’s evidence was clear and unambiguous and had either been admitted by the defendant or not disputed on any legal or factual basis which meets the test required to have the claim remitted to a plenary hearing.
Therefore he said the plaintiff was entitled to judgment in the sum of €2m.
Mr Wallace had argued that his indebtedness could be reduced by the sale of a building on Ormond Quay and he said it is premature to be seeking judgment of the full amount.
Promontoria said the law did not require it to sign the assignment of the loan to it by Ulster Bank.
It also said Mr Wallace did not challenge the validity of the appointment of a receiver by Promontoria over the assets of M&J Wallace including the building on Ormond Quay or the entitlement of the company to appoint the receiver.
The judgment means the company may now take steps to recover the money owed.
However the judge granted a stay of three months on the execution of the judgment.
Mr Wallace's lawyers said he needed to devote his time and resources to other matters including an attempt to wind up M&J Wallace by Promontoria, which will be heard next month, and the General Election.
His barrister said he may well be involved in the "jockeying" that will take place for the make-up of the next government, prompting the judge to say he would have to win his seat first.
The judge granted the stay of execution but did not grant a stay on entering the judgment against him.
The court heard Mr Wallace already owes €20m to ACC in a judgment from 2012 and the recovery of that debt had been "fairly modest".