Treasury's NAMA challenge can go ahead

Thursday 22 March 2012 14.41
NAMA appointed receivers to some Treasury assets
NAMA appointed receivers to some Treasury assets

The Treasury group of companies has been given permission by the High Court to pursue its legal challenge against the National Asset Management Agency.

Treasury wanted permission to challenge NAMA's decision to call in its loans and appoint receivers to some of Treasury's assets.

Ms Justice Mary Finlay Geoghegan ruled that Treasury had raised substantial issues for the court's determination and granted the group permission to proceed with its case.

She also ruled that NAMA can bring an application to have Treasury provide security for costs and an undertaking in relation to damages if it wishes. The case will be back before the court on Tuesday.

Treasury had argued that NAMA's decisions to call in loans of around €1 billion and to appoint receivers to certain property assets in January were irrational, disproportionate and an unfair exercise of the agency's powers. The company's lawyers argued there had been an absence of fair procedures and Treasury had had a right to be heard before the decisions were made.

NAMA claimed Treasury was insolvent, past the point of rescue and had no viable business left without money from the agency: It said a lengthy process was undertaken before receivers were appointed and Treasury had had every opportunity to say why the agency should not have acted in the way it did.

NAMA said it noted the decision. A spokesman for the agency said the receivers would remain in place pending the outcome of the judicial review.

Treasury Holdings welcomed the court's decision, saying that it is willing to engage with any proposal to secure the future of the company and its 400 employees. Any proposal, the company says, must satisfy the Government, its agencies and the taxpayer, for whose support it is very grateful.