IBRC liquidator agrees to ‘ring-fence’ €50m for costs of Quinn case
Quinn lawyers had voiced concern on whether €50m intended as fund to meet costs of their case alone or all 840 in which bank is involved
Martin Hayden SC for the Quinns: said sides had come to an agreement involving the application for security being struck out. Photograph by Frank Miller
The special liquidators of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation have agreed to “ring-fence” €50 million in cash to pay the legal costs of members of Seán Quinn’s family if the bank loses its action alleging they and others conspired to put assets in their international property group beyond its reach.
Lawyers for the Quinns had expressed concern on whether the €50 million was intended as a fund to meet the legal costs of their case alone or all 840 cases in which the bank is involved. There are 120 cases being taken against IBRC while it has taken 720 cases against various parties.
While the estimated costs of what is referred to as IBRC’s “conspiracy” case in Ireland have been described by Mr Justice Peter Kelly as “vastly below” the €50 million sum, IBRC has also incurred what are believed to be multi-million-euro costs in litigation overseas aimed at trying to preserve its claim to various Quinn assets, valued about $700 million.
Mr Justice Kelly was due to hear yesterday an application by the Quinns for orders requiring the bank to provide security for costs of the “conspiracy” case against them, various companies and others.
Special liquidator Kieran Wallace said in an affidavit that €50 million would be available towards “the litigation” but also argued the defendants were not entitled to a security order because they had no bona fide defence to the bank’s conspiracy claims.
Martin Hayden SC, for the Quinns, said their concerns about the proposed security included what was meant by “the litigation”.
Shane Murphy SC, for IBRC, said Mr Wallace had said in an affidavit the assets in the special liquidation would not fall below €50 million pending the determination of the Quinn proceedings.
If costs orders against the bank were paid from the fund, it would be replenished to ensure €50 million would be available at the end of the case.
The €50 million was a minimum figure, Mr Wallace added. If there was any change in circumstances that might affect his ability to retain the €50 million, Mr Wallace said he would notify the defendants should it be appropriate.
After a brief adjournment, Mr Hayden said the sides had come to an agreement involving the application for security being struck out on the basis of what Mr Wallace had said and the Quinns being given notice of any change in IBRC’s position. Mr Howard consented.