Gayle Killilea loses South African court appeal

Wife of developer Sean Dunne loses fight to retain proceeds of sale of Cape Town hotel

Gayle Killilea: ordered to pay Mr Lehane’s costs. Photograph: Collins Courts

Gayle Killilea: ordered to pay Mr Lehane’s costs. Photograph: Collins Courts

 

Gayle Killilea, the wife of developer Sean Dunne, has failed in a bid to overturn a South African court ruling which held that she could not retain the proceeds of the sale of a hotel in Cape Town.

The ruling means the Irish official bankruptcy assignee, Chris Lehane, can take the proceeds of the sale of the Lagoon Beach Hotel and distribute them to Mr Dunne’s creditors.

Mr Dunne has been declared bankrupt in the US and Ireland and the South African proceedings related to the transfer of the South African hotel into the ownership of his wife.

Mr Lehane claimed the move was part of a wider attempt to put €100 million in assets belonging to Mr Dunne beyond his reach, now the subject of legal actions in both the US and Ireland.

Mr Lehane took legal action in the Western Cape High Court in September 2014 to block the proposed sale of the hotel to a third party.

Costs

Mr Lehane won the High Court case and just before Christmas the Supreme Court of Appeal upheld the original judgment and ordered that Ms Killilea must pay Mr Lehane’s costs.

Ms Killilea had argued that Mr Lehane should not have been recognised as official assignee, as Mr Dunne was declared bankrupt first in the US.

However, the South African Supreme Court ruled that the bankruptcy officials in the US and Ireland were working together.

Last May Mr Dunne lost a Supreme Court battle in which he had sought to have his Irish bankruptcy set aside.