O'Donnells claimed to have £8,500 in cash left
Brian O’Donnell, the one-time multimillionaire solicitor and property investor, and his wife Mary Patricia claimed to have just £8,500 (€10,500) left in cash, according to their court bankruptcy filing in London.
The couple list life assurance and pensions fund worth £6.2 million as well as a Daimler, a Morgan sports car and a Bentley, valuing them at £68,500 in the previously undisclosed documents.
Their bankruptcy petition, filed in March, was released by their lawyers after The Irish Times made representations to the High Court in London.
Mr O’Donnell, who has said in the past he had been recognised as Ireland’s leading corporate lawyer, and his family are embroiled in a long-running legal battle with Bank of Ireland.
The bank has secured a €75 million judgment against the couple in the High Court. The lender is contesting their bankruptcy in the UK in a case expected to be heard imminently in the High Court in London, possibly early next week.
They say they are entitled to file for bankruptcy in the UK as it is their “centre of main interest”, which the bank disputes.
Their business, Vico Capital, once owned properties worth more than €1 billion, ranging from office blocks in London’s financial district of Canary Wharf to Washington, just blocks from the White House. It had debts of €886 million.
Listing his home as “London House” on Barton Street, Westminster, London, Mr O’Donnell blames Bank of Ireland for their financial trouble.
“In the midst of the most severe property crash in the western world, Bank of Ireland refused to co-operate in an orderly management and disposal programme of my real estate interests,” he said in the filing.
Mr O’Donnell was about £670,000 overdrawn on two Bank of Ireland bank accounts and about £100,000 on an AIB account, the court papers show. He had £8,000 in his account at HSBC in Westminster.
To prove that London is his centre of main interest, he includes theatre tickets, a Tesco receipt, dry-cleaning bills, a £3,000-a-year car parking bill and TV licence renewal form with his filing. He also includes an invitation from the Prince of Wales for a tour of the gardens at Highgrove, the prince’s home in Gloucestershire.
Mr O’Donnell valued his seven-year-old Bentley Continental GT at £55,000, saying that the condition of the car, based in London, was “good”. Bank of Scotland is owed £54,000 on the financing of the vehicle.
The Daimler DS420 was valued at £7,500 and its condition described as “reasonable given it is 22 years old”, he says.
The 10-year-old Morgan Plus 4 is valued at £6,000 by Mr O’Donnell, who described the condition of the car as “okay but needs work and servicing”.
Court papers show that the the Daimler and Morgan were seized from the O’Donnells’ house in Oughterard, Co Galway, in April.
Bank of Ireland chief executive Richie Boucher has, as a director of the bank, filed an “affidavit of debt” outlining its debt claim in the court papers.