IBRC seeks documents from Dubai firms linked to Quinn family

Companies deny role in the alleged conspiracy to move assets beyond the bank’s reach

Mr Justice Peter Kelly will rule tomorrow on IBRC’s application for orders requiring disclosure of  documents by two Middle Eastern firms regarding their dealings with an international property group linked to the Quinn Family.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly will rule tomorrow on IBRC’s application for orders requiring disclosure of documents by two Middle Eastern firms regarding their dealings with an international property group linked to the Quinn Family.

Tue, Mar 18, 2014, 17:30

Irish Bank Resolution Corporation is seeking orders requiring two related Middle Eastern firms to discover documents concerning their alleged “central” role in an alleged conspiracy by family members of bankrupt businessman Seán Quinn to strip assets from the family’s international property group.

Senat FZC and Senat Legal Consultancy FZ LLC, both of Gold and Diamond Park, Dubai, and Senat FZC principal Michael Waechter all deny IBRC’s claims they were aware of and involved in the alleged conspiracy to move international property group (IPG) assets beyond the bank’s reach.

IBRC claims Senat FZC’s alleged role included incorporating and purchasing offshore companies while Senat Legal was allegedly involved in devising a legal strategy to frustrate IBRC’s efforts to recover the IPG assets.

The “covert” nature of the alleged scheme and Senat’s central role justified granting the bank the considerable discovery of documents sought, Brian Murray SC, for IBRC, argued today. Those orders include documents relating to any dealings between Senat and members of the Quinn family.

Jarlath Ryan BL, for the Senat defendants, said they were prepared to provide some discovery but that what was being sought ranged far too wide and would have implications for the defendants dealings with other clients.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly will rule tomorrow on IBRC’s application for orders requiring disclosure of the documents.

Earlier, the judge ordered IBRC to identify to the Quinns certain documents discovered by it for its action over the alleged conspiracy.

The full hearing of that action has been deferred pending the outcome of criminal proceedings against some former executives of Anglo Irish Bank, IBRC’s predecessor in title.

IBRC had proposed to make some 50,000 documents available to the Quinns but said it was up to them to identify which of those are relevant to their defence of the case.

Ross Aylward BL, for the Quinns, argued that would impose an “oppressive” task of trawling through the 50,000 documents in an effort to identify which of those are relevant to assets, loans and securities concerning IPG companies.

The Quinns were concerned both about the costs of such an exercise and the possibility they could be held responsible if any document was overlooked, counsel said.

IBRC argued it is in liquidation with limited resources and should not have to bear the costs of identifying which of the 50,000 documents are relevant.

Mr Justice Kelly said the normal rule was the party who makes discovery of documents should identify the relevant documents and there was no reason why that rule should not apply to IBRC as the party making discovery. He hoped a sensible arrangement could be arrived at, the judge added.

However, the Quinns were not entitled to have the discovery period extended to December 2010 rather than the period between September 2007 to March 2009 as previously stipulated, he said.

The Quinns sought the extension after raising issues about a loan advanced by Anglo for some €77 million drawn down by a Quinn company in April 2010, plus further advances of €77 million and US$13 million drawn down in June 2010.

Brian Murray SC, for IBRC, argued those were not additional “loans” by Anglo but were rather “drawdowns” of funds advanced to one Quinn company and drawn down by a different Quinn company.

Mr Aylward, disputing that explanation, said there was prima facie evidence of a fresh lending to a different party, this was a new “loan” that was drawn down and “drawdown” was a euphemism for margin calls.

Mr Justice Kelly said transactions post-dating March 2009 were not discoverable unless an issue had been raised concerning them. It seemed no such issue had been raised in the pleadings concerning these matters and he would not grant the extension sought, he said.