IBRC argues taxpayer should not foot McKillen bill

Wednesday 19 March 2014 17.34
IBRC has argued the taxpayer should not have to pay the costs of Paddy McKillen's legal action
IBRC has argued the taxpayer should not have to pay the costs of Paddy McKillen's legal action

IBRC has argued the taxpayer should not have to pay the costs of Paddy McKillen's legal action aimed at preventing his loans being sold by the IBRC special liquidators to the Barclay brothers.

Property investor Mr McKillen had brought High Court proceedings against both the special liquidators of the IBRC and David and Frederick Barclay, the billionaire brothers whom Mr McKillen has been engaged in a long running battle with for control of the world-famous Claridge's, Connaught and Berkeley hotels in London, were due to commence earlier this month.

However the case did not proceed after the Belfast born developer successfully acquired the loans, worth an estimated hundreds of millions of Euro, with the backing of private international investment firm, Colony Capital.

Today, the matter returned before the High Court to deal with the legal costs of several preliminary issues of the case.

Michael Cush SC for Mr McKillen said that while his client believed he would have succeeded at a full hearing of the case the proceedings had been rendered moot by the fact that the loans had been acquired.

Counsel said that as a result the court should not make any orders in respect of the legal costs as against the special liquidators of IBRC, who counsel added "no wrong was ever alleged against." by Mr McKillen in his proceedings.

Counsel also told the court that it had been agreed between Mr McKillen and the Barclay brothers that they would each pay their own costs in respect of the proceeds between them.  Mr McKillen counsel said had already  substantial costs in a number of pretrial motions, including discovery.

Lawyers for IBRC argued that its legal costs should be paid by Mr McKillen.

Cian Ferriter SC for the special liquidators of the IBRC said his client was "caught in the crossfire of two warring parties." While it was accepted his client's participation had been minimal he did not see why IRBC which "is effect the taxpayer", should incur any legal costs because Mr McKillen had decided to discontinue his action.

Counsel said the IRBC would have been happy for the case to proceed in order so the courts could determine the general legal issue raised by Mr McKillen.

The application for costs was made before Mr Justice Paul Gilligan.

Following the conclusion of submissions from the parties the judge said he wished to give the matter some consideration.

The Judge said he would rule on the matter tomorrow.