Former Stellwagen executives to get full High Court hearing next month
Former senior executives, including Howard Millar, accused of secretly attempting to divert business away from aircraft lessor
Stellwagen last week got interim orders barring former executives includin g Howard Millar (above) from disclosing company information to others and from interfering in its relationship with clients, investors, staff or commercial partners
Aircraft lessor Stellwagen’s claims that three executives secretly attempted to divert business away from the company will get a full hearing in the High Court next month.
Stellwagen last week got interim orders barring former chief operating officer, Howard Millar, and executives, Edward Hansom and Edward Coughlan, from disclosing company information to others and from interfering in its relationship with clients, investors, staff or commercial partners.
On Tuesday the High Court scheduled a full hearing of the proceedings for November 14th. It gave the three men until October 24th to file their response to Stellwagen’s allegations. The company will have further 10 days to reply to that.
The court issued the interim orders against the three men following an ex parte hearing, which means that they were not represented in court and did not have an opportunity to reply to Stellwagen’s claims.
Mr Millar, who was previously Ryanair’s chief financial officer, Mr Hansom and Mr Coughlan, all resigned from Stellwagen on September 4th. Court documents show that Mr Millar maintains that he was constructively dismissed.
Stellwagen’s chief executive, Douglas Brennan, alleged in an affidavit that the group discovered a “clandestine” and “concerted” effort by the three to divert valuable business away from the company, in direct conflict with their legal obligations.
Mr Brennan claimed that this could have caused extensive financial loss to Stellwagen. He highlighted the loss of a transaction with African carrier, Air Senegal, that he estimated could have been worth $20 million in profit to the group.
Stellwagen also said that it found evidence that three were planning to establish a rival operation, Airgreen. Mr Brennan said that the proposals discovered for this contained elements that could only have come from Stellwagen’s own business plan.
Mr Hansom and Mr Coughlan had been directors of several Stellwagen group companies since 2014.
Mr Howard joined last year as chief operating officer of Stellwagen Group Ltd, a director of another of its companies and a member of its executive committee.
While they have not had the opportunity to respond to Stellwagen’s claims in court, Mr Brennan’s affidavit indicated that the three challenged the group’s claims when they were put to them.
Mr Brennan founded Stellwagen in Dublin and the US in 2013 to provide finance to airlines seeking to buy new craft. It manages $1.7 billion of investors’ money.