Nama entitled to enforce €77m judgment against Crosbie

Limited stay imposed, pending outcome of a Supreme Court appeal of judge’s decisions

 Businessman Harry Crosbie. Photograph: Collins

Businessman Harry Crosbie. Photograph: Collins

Thu, Jul 31, 2014, 13:21

The National Assets Management Agency is entitled to enforce a €77 million judgment against certain assets of businessman Harry Crosbie, a High Court judge has ruled.

Mr Justice David Keane however granted Mr Crosbie a limited stay preventing Nama enforcing against a limited number of assets pending the outcome of a Supreme Court appeal against the judge’s decisions.

The limited stay means Nama may enforce against assets excluding Mr Crosbie’s home at Hanover Quay, Dublin and a limited number of assets linked to relatives of his.

Nama’s €77 million judgment arose from personal debts of Mr Crosbie and guarantees of liabilities of Shoal Trading Ltd and Ossory Park Management Ltd (OPML).

Judgment is not being sought for other sums due under a separate €353 million facility for development of the Point Village, recourse for which is limited to assets provided as security, plus an additional personal recourse amount.

Mr Justice Keane gave judgment today on two applications arising from his decision in June Nama was entitled to summary judgment orders for some €77 million.

The first application, brought by Mr Crosbie, was for a stay, pending the outcome of his plenary action against Nama, on the judge’s ruling Nama was entitled to €77 million summary judgment. The judge refused that stay.

The second application, brought by Nama, sought to strike out Mr Crosbie’s proceedings against it on grounds he had failed to comply with Section 182 of the Nama Act which requires, where it is sought to bring a case where declarations are sought against Nama, an application for leave to bring such proceedings must be brought.

The judge upheld arguments by Nama, because no such leave application was brought as required by Section 182, Mr Crosbie could not proceed with his application for declarations.

He can proceed with his claim for damages against Nama on grounds including alleged misfeasance in public office but those proceedings are expected to await the outcome of his Supreme Court appeal against Mr Justice Keane’s rulings.

After the judgment was given today, Kelley Smith BL, for Nama, sought and secured an order entering judgment for some €77 million against Mr Crosbie.

Michael McDowell SC, for Mr Crosbie, secured a limited stay on enforcement of that judgment pending his side’s appeal against the judge’s various decision to the Supreme Court.

The judge said he would only grant a stay on enforcement in relation to the limited assets specified, including the home of Mr Crosbie. The court previously heard Mr Crosbie objected to conditions including maximum €5,000 monthly living expenses being sought by Nama for not enforcing the €77 million judgment against his home and other assets pending his proceedings.

Nama sought such conditions because it believes Mr Crosbie is seeking to “walk away from his debts and leave them in the lap of the taxpayer”, Paul Sreenan SC, for the agency, said.

Mr Crosbie had failed to give an undertaking not to deal with his assets and Nama believed he had not fully disclosed all those, including valuable antiques, counsel added.

As a public body seeking to recover debts for the taxpayer, Nama believed it must be entitled to register its judgment against various assets.

Mr McDowell said his client is a businessman whose businesses could not function if he had income of €1,250 a week.

Mr Crosbie contended an August 2012 “binding agreement” with Nama prevented it enforcing against certain assets.

Mr Crosbie was not seeking to prevent sale of the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, but was contending he was entitled to damages over the premises been wrongly included in a “scoop” of his assets by Nama, counsel added.

In an affidavit previously, Mr Crosbie said execution of the €77 million judgment would be a “grave injustice” and have “catastrophic and irreversible” consequences for himself and his family.