Blake O’Donnell calls bank’s claims about assets ‘scurrilous’

O’Donnell says he was ‘caught on the hop’ by bank’s application over proceeds of London property sale

Blake O’Donnell, a son of retired solicitor Brian O’Donnell, has described as “scurrilous” a bank’s claims concerning potential dissipation of assets from an expected imminent sale of a valuable property in London. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Blake O’Donnell, a son of retired solicitor Brian O’Donnell, has described as “scurrilous” a bank’s claims concerning potential dissipation of assets from an expected imminent sale of a valuable property in London. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

 

Blake O’Donnell, a son of retired solicitor Brian O’Donnell, has described as “scurrilous” a bank’s claims concerning potential dissipation of assets from an expected imminent sale of a valuable property in London.

Blake, who is also a solicitor, was responding in the High Court to claims made last week by Bank of Ireland (BoI) when it sought orders preventing Blake, his brother Bruce and three British Virgin Island-registered companies dissipating an estimated £6 million (€7.7 million) proceeds expected from sale of a property, Columbus Courtyard, in Canary Wharf.

The bank’s application on Friday was made ex parte (one side only) represented.

‘Caught on the hop’

When the matter returned before the court on Monday, Blake O’Donnell said he had been “caught on the hop” by the bank’s application.

He had not been provided with many of the legal documents submitted by the bank as part of its application and now found himself having to fight the matter in three different jurisdictions, Ireland, the UK and BVI, he said.

He asked the court to put the matter back for six weeks to allow him respond to the bank’s claims.

His father, Brian, told Mr Justice John Hedigan the bank had no interest or relationship at any stage with the Columbus Courtyard property.

Stephen Dowling BL, for the bank, said his client was concerned about the proceeds of the sale being dissipated and was standing over the claims it had made to the court. A six week adjournment was too long, counsel argued.

Mr Justice Hedigan said he wanted to be fair to the parties, in what was a complex matter, and wanted to have the “status quo” preserved.

The judge said he was prepared to adjourn the matter for six weeks to allow Blake O Donnell prepare a sworn statement in reply to BOI’s claims.

The judge added he would still hear on Wednesday BOI’s application to continue the injunctions granted last Friday, pending the full hearing of the dispute, unless the sides could come to an agreement between themselves concerning that.

BOI was concerned undertakings previously given by the O’Donnell side were no longer enough and wanted those to be replaced with court orders.