Quinns claim personal assets receiver not independent of bank
FAMILY MEMBERS of bankrupt businessman Seán Quinn’s family have claimed a receiver appointed over their personal assets by the former Anglo Irish Bank is not independent but biased towards the bank on grounds including that several of his staff worked at a senior level for the bank before and since its nationalisation.
They are also objecting to requests by receiver Declan Taite of accountancy firm RSMFGS to disclose wide-ranging information about their assets and financial and tax affairs, including their personal email accounts and passwords and phones or any devices on which information about assets may be stored.
The receiver is engaged in “an excessively voyeuristic intrusion into our personal lives” affecting information such as medical records, family photos, communications with the media and personal communications, they claim.
They were very concerned Mr Taite would pass on such information to the bank, which could assist it in defending the family’s forthcoming action aimed at avoiding liability for loans of some €2.34 billion, they added. The family also want the court to discharge Mr Taite’s solicitors, Arthur Cox, alleging that the firm was “heavily conflicted” on grounds including its involvement in the restructuring of Quinn companies.
Other concerns included that Cox’s was acting for the bank in its action against former Anglo head of lending Thomas Browne, which would address issues concerning the building up of Contract for Difference positions by Seán Quinn in Anglo, they said. “Multiple partners” in Cox’s had undertaken very significant work for Anglo and the firm was receiving very substantial work from Anglo and/or its shareholder, the Department of Finance, they said.
The family complained of “over-lapping” of senior staff between RSMFGS, Anglo and IBRC. Ian Duffy, former managing partner of RSMGS, was a former director of Anglo; Anthony Carroll, manager of RSMFGS’ insolvency division since November 2012, was employed as an Anglo assistant manager for five years and David Crotty, assistant manager RSMFGS since January 2011, was previously employed for five years by Anglo/Irish Nationwide Building Society, he said. Paul Brady, a solicitor with RSMFGS since September 2011, was previously employed by Anglo as a solicitor for two years.
The family also say Mark Breen, an assistant manager with IBRC since September 2011 was previously employed by RSMFGS while Marina Neagu, internal auditor with IBRC since June 2010, was previously employed as an auditor with RSMFGS.
The family say they were unaware of these matters when they consented to the appointment of Mr Taite three months ago and denied their application was a bid to derail the receiver’s work.
Lawyers for Mr Taite, Arthur Cox and Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (formerly Anglo) argued the family had raised no grounds requiring the court to discharge either the receiver or his lawyers.
Michael Collins SC, for Mr Taite and Arthur Cox, also said “not a single material document” had been provided three months on by the family since the receiver’s appointment despite the court requiring the family to co-operate with the receiver.
Mr Justice Peter Kelly said he wanted to consider the factual and legal issues raised and would give judgment at a later date. If he refuses to discharge, the judge will deal with the receiver’s application for wide-ranging orders requiring the Quinns to provide the information sought by him.