Quinn bid for discharge of receivers based on 'great distrust' of IBRC
A bid by family members of jailed businessman Seán Quinn to secure the discharge of receivers appointed by the former Anglo Irish Bank over their personal assets was based on a misunderstanding of law and “a great distrust” of the bank, a High Court judge said yesterday.
Mr Justice Peter Kelly said it was clear the Quinns had a deep-seated distrust of the bank, now Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, of the receiver Declan Taite and his solicitors, Arthur Cox.
The judge noted in his ruling that it was claimed Mr Taite was not independent but was biased towards the bank on grounds including that several of his staff had worked at a senior level for the bank before and since its nationalisation.
The Quinns had also argued that Arthur Cox was “heavily conflicted” on grounds including its involvement in the restructuring of Quinn companies.
Mr Justice Kelly said Mr Taite and another receiver were appointed by order of the High Court. Their role involved collecting the assets of the defendants in whatever jurisdiction they may be and whether they had chosen to disclose them or not, he said. The Quinns saw that information was going to be given to the bank and believed that demonstrated a lack of independence requiring their removal, but that was “an incorrect view”.
Onus on Quinns
The onus was on the Quinns to demonstrate grounds justifying the removal of the receivers. It was not enough to suggest the receiver would not be capable of acting independently because of a former relationship with one of the parties to the dispute, he said.
Mr Justice Kelly said there was no basis established for removing the receivers because of their firm’s involvement with Quinn Finance or by reference to employees who were or are employees of the bank.
While the Quinns seemed to believe the receivers were not obliged to carry out any investigative work, that was not so, he said. Before they could secure and preserve assets, they must first locate them.
Mr Justice Kelly also said the fact that Arthur Cox had acted for clients whose interests may be perceived by the Quinns to be adverse to theirs was not evidence of bias.