Crosby claims ‘gross injustice’ as Nama failed to honour deal

Businessman argues NALM not entitled to seek order enforcing judgment against home

Businessman Harry Crosbie  argued NALM was not entitled to seek an order enforcing the judgment against his home in Hanover Quay, Dublin, his son Simon’s home in Blackrock, Dublin, and some assets of his wife, Rita. Photograph: Michaela Rehle/Reuters

Businessman Harry Crosbie argued NALM was not entitled to seek an order enforcing the judgment against his home in Hanover Quay, Dublin, his son Simon’s home in Blackrock, Dublin, and some assets of his wife, Rita. Photograph: Michaela Rehle/Reuters

 

Businessman Harry Crosbie has argued a “gross injustice” has been done to him because Nama failed to honour an agreement that certain personal assets, including the family home, would not be affected by enforcement of a €77 million judgment against him. 

He is appealing a High Court decision last year granting the judgment to Nama company National Asset Loan Management Ltd (NALM). 

Mr Crosbie argued that, while he is liable for the debt, NALM was not entitled to seek an order enforcing the judgment against his home in Hanover Quay, Dublin, his son Simon’s home in Blackrock, Dublin, and some assets of his wife, Rita.

Last year, Mr Justice David Keane ruled NALM was entitled to summary judgment arising from debts and guarantees of liabilities of two of his companies, Shoal Trading Ltd and Ossory Park Management Ltd.

The judge found Mr Crosbie failed to show any reasonable prospect of a genuine defence to the Nama claim that would entitle him to a full court hearing on the matter.

The decision was appealed to a three-judge Court of Appeal which began hearing the appeal yesterday. The court will resume the hearing next week.

Inappropriate test Michael McDowell SC, opening Mr Crosbie’s appeal, said the proceedings were “unjust from beginning to end”. The High Court had applied a “wholly inappropriate” test to a letter used to argue the case that Mr Crosbie enjoyed immunity for certain personal assets from enforcement of the debt, he said.

The August 2012 letter from Mr Crosbie’s solicitors to NALM precluded enforcement over personal assets and from making him bankrupt. It was “a gross injustice to allow NALM ignore that agreement”, counsel said.

NALM had argued there was no such agreement and, if there was, it was “a temporary little arrangement” which could be set aside by NALM, counsel said. It had also argued that that what Mr Crosbie had agreed to was some sort of collateral remedy which, in event of judgment being given, would not be used against him.

As soon as it got judgment, Mr McDowell said, NALM sought to register a judgment mortgage against the assets. A stay was put on registering the judgment pending the outcome of the appeal.Counsel said as part of the agreement between Mr Crosbie and NALM, the businessman’s 50 per cent interest in the Three/O2/Point arena was taken over and later sold for €35 million.

Paul Sreenan SC, for NALM, said at no point in the agreement and memoranda of understanding between NALM and Mr Crosbie was it said there would be no enforcement of the debt. Mr Crosbie was an experienced businessman, well familiar with terms such as “debt forgiveness” and “full and final settlement”, terms specifically not accepted by NALM in its negotiations with him, counsel said.