High Court dismisses case against lawyers over restaurant closure

Solicitor Gerald Kean. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Solicitor Gerald Kean. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Wed, Jun 12, 2013, 21:28

The High Court has struck out a professional negligence action against prominent solicitor Gerald Kean after a judge found it had no reasonable chance of succeeding.

Rayan Restaurant Ltd, Tullamore, Co Offaly, brought the action over advice it received from Mr Kean of Kean solicitors, Upper Pembroke Street, Dublin, and from barrister Francis McGagh, who was engaged by Mr Kean to present a case on behalf of the company in the Circuit Court in 2003 and 2004.

It was claimed they failed to properly advise the now insolvent Rayan, whose directors were Djamel Mennad and Fatima Zohra Azizi, of its rights and remedies in the case brought after the landlord of their restaurant in Athlone, Co Westmeath, took possession in a rental dispute.

A Circuit Court judge ruled in 2004 that the landlord had lawfully taken possession of the restaurant. Rayan appealed to the High Court and also brought proceedings against its former lawyers.

Mr Justice Michael White today ruled that this latest case by Rayan had all the hallmarks of an impermissible “collateral attack” on that previous court decision.