FitzPatrick to be examined in court over ownership of London office block
THE FORMER chairman of Anglo Irish Bank, Seán FitzPatrick, is to be examined in the High Court by the official assignee in bankruptcy about issues related to the ownership of a large London office block investment property.
Mr FitzPatrick has disputed ownership of the Woolgate Exchange in central London and the official assignee wants to cross-examine him about matters related to ownership of that property and its financing. The cross-examination will not take place before October.
Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne yesterday set October 8th as a date for the mention of the case, with a view to setting a later hearing date for examination.
Senior counsel for Mr Fitzpatrick, Bernard Dunleavy, stressed there was no suggestion Mr Fitzpatrick had not co-operated in interviews and he had handed over documents.
Counsel said there was a concern about discovery of documents and a more focused discovery was being sought. The examination should take about two hours, he believed.
The High Court had in July 2010 officially declared Mr FitzPatrick a bankrupt after being informed he was “bowing to the inevitable” having failed to get sufficient support from his creditors for a private settlement scheme to pay off his debts.
The former Anglo Irish Bank chairman, from Greystones, Co Wicklow, is estimated to have debts of €150 million and assets of €47 million.
Also in the bankruptcy list yesterday, Ms Justice Dunne set July 26th next for proceedings against developer Thomas McFeely.
Mr McFeely, whose company built the Priory Hall apartments in Dublin from which residents have been evacuated, had filed for bankruptcy in the UK, where the bankruptcy laws are more lenient.
He contends his main centre of business activity is the UK.
A London court last month rescinded an order declaring Mr McFeely bankrupt in the UK after it was discovered he had failed to disclose the existence of Irish bankruptcy proceedings when he filed papers there.
The London high court ordered the bankruptcy proceedings be reheard in light of this.
On July 26th Ms Justice Dunne will deal first with the issue of whether Ireland or the UK is Mr McFeely’s centre of main interest.