Ruling on Quinn defence tomorrow
A HIGH Court judge will rule tomorrow whether bankrupt businessman Seán Quinn is entitled to defend a legal action that could result in judgment for more than €2.3 billion being entered against him in favour of the former Anglo Irish Bank.
In its defence to proceedings by Mr Quinn’s wife and children, who argue they have no liability for some €2.3 billion in Anglo loans, the bank, now Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, has alleged fraud and conspiracy against Mr Quinn in allegedly obtaining loans from it for an illegal purpose.
Mr Quinn has delivered a full defence denying those claims and alleging Anglo at all times knew the real purpose of the loans was to meet margin calls on contract-for-difference positions in an unlawful effort to prop up its share price.
Mr Justice Peter Kelly, who last March reserved judgment on the issue of Mr Quinn’s entitlement to defend, will rule on that tomorrow.
Anglo contends that, as a bankrupt, Mr Quinn is not entitled to defend proceedings in a situation where the official assignee in bankruptcy has decided not to defend and where, it claims, entry of judgment of more than €2 billion would not involve “findings” by the court against Mr Quinn.
In the family’s proceedings against Anglo, yet to be heard, Patricia Quinn and her five children contend they are not liable for loans of some €2.34 billion to companies in the Quinn group on grounds those were allegedly illegally made to prop up the bank’s share price.
Anglo denies the claims but has joined Mr Quinn and two former Quinn group senior executives – Liam McCaffrey, former Quinn Group finance director and Dara O’Reilly, chief executive of Quinn Group (NI) Ltd – as third parties.
The bank contends that if the family wins, it is entitled to be indemnified by the three for the loans on grounds they were allegedly central to the management of the Quinn group and an alleged strategy to make investments to fund contract-for-difference positions in Anglo before the end of 2007. All three have denied the claims.
Mr Quinn asked to be permitted personally to defend the claims against him and the judge directed a hearing on that issue.
Brian Cregan SC, for Mr Quinn, argued his adjudication as a bankrupt was an economic attribute which does not affect his absolute right as a human being to defend the claims against him.