Mayo family claim property ownership is via partnership
The children of a Co Mayo couple who have had a €50 million judgment registered against them claim to own properties in London and Mayo via a partnership set up by their parents.
In High Court proceedings against AIB, Emma Joyce (27), Pembroke Road, Dublin 4, a daughter of Thomas Joyce and Patricia O’Connor Joyce, Summerville House, Rosbeg, Westport, has sought a number of declarations.
These include that Mr and Mrs Joyce hold assets, including properties at Cherry Cottage, Westport; 16-26 Bute Street, South Kensington, London, and a share of the proceeds of sale of a property on Kings Road, Chelsea, London, on behalf of the Summerville partnership.
Ms Joyce also claims the members of the partnership are beneficially entitled to the assets, plus some €1 million proceeds of the sale of the property at Kings Road, which has been frozen in a bank account pending the outcome of the case.
AIB denies claims by the Joyces that it was aware of the Summerville Partnership or its purpose, and disputes that the partnership has any interest in any of the properties. In a counterclaim, AIB wants a declaration that the partnership and its members have no proprietary interest in any of the properties.
Opening the case, Mark Connaughton SC, for Emma Joyce, said the Summerville Partnership was established after Mrs Joyce sold her stake in her family business, Sean O’Connor and Co Ltd, for €16 million.
The partnership was established for the benefit of the couple’s five children – Emma, Honora, Thomas jnr, Conor and James – and each has a share of just over 19 per cent in it, he said. Mr and Mr Joyce had a 2.1 per cent share and acted as trustees of the partnership.
Counsel said the partnership had in 2004 entered into transactions, where loans were obtained from AIB, to acquire commercial properties in Bute Street, now for sale, plus a share in the Chelsea property.
The properties at Bute Street were purchased in the names of Mrs Joyce, the Chelsea property investment was entered into in the names of Mr and Mrs Joyce and both investments were for the benefit of the partnership, he said.
Counsel said the partnership also purchased Rose Cottage, a property adjoining the Joyces’ home in Westport, for €1.4 million. Mr Connaughton argued that AIB had constructive knowledge of the partnership.
AIB, represented by Mark Sanfey SC and Jarlath Ryan, denies it had constructive knowledge of the partnership and denies the Bute or Chelsea investments were on behalf of the partnership. It also pleads that the claims are inconsistent with documents executed in the course of the purchase of the properties. The case is expected to last two weeks.