Claim over Parnell Street buildings fast-tracked to Commercial Court

Case concerns over €800,000 management company says it is owned in service charges

The action has been brought by IEGP Management Company, which manages the Ivy Exchange,  Parnell Street, Dublin. It is against JOM Investments Unlimited Company, a firm linked to the Cosgrave family of builders. Photograph: iStock

The action has been brought by IEGP Management Company, which manages the Ivy Exchange, Parnell Street, Dublin. It is against JOM Investments Unlimited Company, a firm linked to the Cosgrave family of builders. Photograph: iStock

 

A claim by a company that manages several commercial and residential buildings in central Dublin that it is owed more than €800,000 in service charges by the owner of units in the complex has been admitted to the fast-track Commercial Court.

The action has been brought by IEGP Management Company, which manages the Ivy Exchange, Parnell Street, Dublin. It is against JOM Investments Unlimited Company, a firm linked to the Cosgrave family of builders.

The plaintiff’s claim is denied by the defendant, which also opposed IEGP’s application to have the case admitted to the Commercial Court list.

In its claim, the management company claims it manages the five apartment blocks and the commercial premises collectively known as the Ivy Exchange.

JOM owns two commercial units, which are occupied by a supermarket and a bookstore.

IEGP, represented by Martin Hayden SC and Daniel Dwyer, claims that it increased service charges for the units because of what it claims are fire safety defects in the development.

In 2018 the management company brought separate proceedings, against parties including brothers Joseph, Michael and the late Peter Cosgrave over the alleged defects in the property.

The claims in those proceedings are also denied.

Last May the management company increased the service charges in order to fund remedial works it says it needs to carry out so the properties remain insurable and to mitigate any danger to property and human life due to the alleged fire safety defects.

Formal demand

IEGP claims that after making a formal demand to be paid service charges, it received only 5 per cent of what it claims is owed.

As a result, the company now seeks an order from the court requiring the defendant to pay the sum it claims is due.

In a sworn statement to the court, JOS director Joseph Cosgrave denied the claims against the company.

He claims the current proceedings are an attempt by IEGP to fund the legal costs of the 2018 proceedings.

Mr Cosgrave also said the service charges have always been paid in full and on time to the management company.

The case was admitted to the fast-track Commercial Court list, following an application by IEGP, by Mr Justice Denis McDonald on Friday.

Ruling

In his ruling the judge noted the defendant’s objections to having the case admitted to the list.

JOM argued that that the value of the dispute was less than €1 million, the court said.

Disputes for amounts less than the €1 million threshold are generally not admitted to the list, it was argued.

However, the judge said that in this case he was using the court’s discretion to admit the case to the list.

While he was not making any findings in relation to the claim, there was some urgency to the matter given that allegations had been made concerning fire safety regulations.

The judge adjourned the matter to a date in November.