Quinns given approval to sue bankrupt Seán Fitzpatrick
Judge sanctions action only on basis that no effort will be made to enforce any judgment
Seán Quinn. His wife Patricia and her five adult children intend to bring proceedings alleging that, between September 2007 and July 2008, Seán Fitzpatrick conspired with others to enter into unlawful contracts related to loans to Quinn companies. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
The family of bankrupt former billionaire Seán Quinn have secured permission to sue former Anglo Irish Bank chairman Seán Fitzpatrick despite his being adjudicated bankrupt.
Because he is a bankrupt, the Quinns required High Court permission to bring proceedings against Mr Fitzpatrick. Mr Justice Brian McGovern granted that permission yesterday after an undertaking was given on behalf of the Quinns they would not seek to enforce any judgment they may secure against Mr Fitzpatrick’s estate being administered by the Official Assignee in Bankruptcy, Chris Lehane.
Patricia Quinn and her five adult children intend to bring proceedings alleging that, between September 2007 and July 2008, Mr Fitzpatrick conspired with others to enter into unlawful contracts related to loans to Quinn companies.
Stephen Walsh, for the Quinns, indicated, should his clients succeed in their case, a claim will be brought against an insurance policy concerning Mr Fitzpatrick in his capacity as Anglo chairman. It was still to be determined if such an insurance policy existed or if it would cover the intended claim.
Mr Lehane said he had no objection to the action as an indemnity had been given on behalf of the Quinns.
Mr Justice McGovern said he was satisfied to grant permission, under Section 136 of the Bankruptcy Act, to bring the proposed action against Mr Fitzpatrick. That order was being granted only because of the indemnity offered by the Quinns, he added.
The Quinns intend to bring proceedings against 11 other former Anglo directors, and the Central Bank and Department of Finance in their capacity as regulators, over loans of some €2.34 billion allegedly unlawfully issued by Anglo to Quinn companies during 2007 and 2008.
The Quinns allege those loans were intended to fund margin calls on contract for difference (CFD) positions held by the family in Anglo shares.
The Quinns are claiming damages including for alleged conspiracy, breach of duty including statutory duty and fiduciary duty, negligence and misfeasance in public office.