A high-profile Dublin solicitor and his wife, who owe more than €75m to Bank of Ireland, have been declared bankrupt in the UK.

Brian O'Donnell of Killiney in Co Dublin and his wife Dr Mary Pat O'Donnell were ordered to repay the money to BoI last year, after the court was told they had breached the terms of a settlement agreement.

A lawyer for the O'Donnells told the Commercial Court in Dublin he had been informed they had applied to be made bankrupt in the High Court in London this morning and the London High Court had granted the bankruptcy orders.

The O'Donnells had claimed in recent correspondence with the bank that their centre of main interest was the UK. This is strongly contested by Bank of Ireland.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly ordered Mr O'Donnell and his wife to come to court on April 17 to be cross-examined about their assets.

The judge was told the bank was concerned about disparities between a statement of means furnished in March last year and one dated February this year.

The court heard that assets which the bank had been told last year were in the full ownership of Mr and Mrs O'Donnell were now said to be held in trust for one or more of the couple's four children - Blake, Bruce, Blaise and Alexander.

The judge said he was not impressed with the way the O'Donnells had dealt with the matter.

Mr O'Donnell worked for one of the country's biggest law firms, William Fry for almost 30 years.

He then established his own firm in Dublin and was described on the firm's website as one of Ireland's leading corporate lawyers.

The firm was one of those on the panel to provide legal advice to NAMA but it is understood it never acted for the agency.