Judgment may impact future company liquidations

Revenue Commissioners had sought an order setting aside decisions of the chairperson at a creditors’ meeting of a Tullamore, Co Offaly laundry

A judgment that may have significant ramifications for the Revenue Commissioners in future company liquidations has been handed down in the High Court by Mr Justice Dan Herbert.

A judgment that may have significant ramifications for the Revenue Commissioners in future company liquidations has been handed down in the High Court by Mr Justice Dan Herbert.

Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 14:52

Ray Managh

A judgment that may have significant ramifications for the Revenue Commissioners in future company liquidations has been handed down in the High Court by Mr Justice Dan Herbert.

The Revenue had asked the court for an order setting aside decisions of the chairperson at a creditors’ meeting of a Tullamore, Co Offaly laundry, Ladaney Limited, in voluntary liquidation, not to exclude invalid proxies of non-connected creditors.

It had also sought the setting aside of the chairperson’s decision not to admit a €371,785 company debt claim by Revenue, following an audit, on the basis that it was under appeal by the company to Revenue.

The Revenue had also sought an order directing the appointment of Barry Donohue as liquidator in place of Anthony J. Fitzpatrick, the company’s choice of liquidator.

Revenue had asked that Mr Donohue be given powers to liquidate the company if necessary under guidance of the court.

Judge Herbert said he was satisfied that at the time of the Creditors Meeting, at which Mr Fitzpatrick had been appointed, on July 15th the Revenue debt was unascertained in that it had been under appeal to the Commissioners.

He said that until the statutory appeal process had been exhausted or withdrawn the Revenue debt remained unascertained.

The judge told barrister Ronnie Hudson, counsel for Mr Fitzpatrick and the company, that the court rejected the Revenue’s application to replace Mr Fitzpatrick. He had been validly appointed and there was no reason whatsoever to consider that he would not carry out the liquidation in other than an efficient and proper manner.

Judge Herbert said it would be altogether inappropriate to make an order that the company be wound up under the supervision of the court.

The judge said that while the Revenue had no alternative but to bring an application regarding the six proxies, four of which the court found were invalid, it had failed on both of the other points which he dismissed with costs in favour of Mr Hudson’s clients.