Inside the world of business
London solicitors offer Quinns their expertise
THE WAR between the family of former billionaire Seán Quinn and the former Anglo Irish Bank took another curious twist in court yesterday as a new firm of solicitors, London firm Edwin Coe, said they were willing to fight for the family.
Dublin firm Eversheds came off record for the family earlier this month after the Quinns claimed that they had no funds to pay them. Local groups supporting the Quinns in the Cavan-Fermanagh region said this week they had raised funds to help the Quinns.
David Greene, a partner at Edwin Coe, wrote to Quinn’s daughter Aoife and her husband Stephen Kelly, saying that one of the reasons why the firm had been asked to assist the Quinns is “our familiarity with the issues that are the subject of the proceedings”.
Greene told us yesterday that the firm had already been involved in litigation with the former Anglo Irish Bank. The firm has been advising German bondholders of Anglo following the recent judgment in favour of one bondholder Assenagon Asset Management against the losses imposed by the bank on junior bondholders.
The firm had expertise in dealing with financial claims, he said. The court heard, however, that the firm cannot practise in the Republic of Ireland, and that they hope to hire local lawyers to help the Quinns with their case. Greene said the firm had not yet approached any Irish solicitors.
Edwin Coe will be familiar with litigation before Mr Justice Peter Kelly, who heard the latest court outing for the Quinns yesterday. The firm’s name cropped up in court earlier this year when Bank of Ireland told the judge that Edwin Coe wrote to its solicitors last January to say they were representing solicitor Brian O’Donnell and his wife Mary Patricia in the action against the bank.
Litigation relating to debt collection is generating plenty of work. Coincidentally, the O’Donnells were before Mr Justice Kelly a few hours after the Quinns, but there was no mention of Edwin Coe; another firm had come and gone since their name cropped up in that other long-running battle involving a major borrower and an Irish bank in pursuit.
You can’t be prepared to huff and puff; you have to be prepared to blow the house down - Mr Justice Kelly gives the Quinns a week to outline objections to receiver Declan TaiteGermany pays price for austerity
IT IS hard to see the silver lining in the fifth consecutive monthly decline in German business confidence. If one exists it is probably to do with the fact that the Ifo index of business sentiment is taken seriously because over time it has proven a fairly reliable indicator of German economic performance.
As a result, policy makers in Frankfurt and Berlin pay attention. In Frankfurt, it will presumably be seen as one more grain of sand tipping the scales towards another cut in interest rates, with a further cut now expected before the end of the year.
The effect in Berlin is harder to discern. It will hopefully remind German politicians – if they need reminding – that Germany cannot prosper indefinitely while the rest of Europe slumps through a combination of factors including the economic austerity that they have so enthusiastically prescribed as a cure.