Developer brothers settle High Court row over property empire

Greg Kavanagh sued over allegedly removing his brother Hugh as director of 19 companies

Mr Justice Senan Allen was told on Monday the case had been settled and resolved in its entirety to the mutual satisfaction of both sides. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Mr Justice Senan Allen was told on Monday the case had been settled and resolved in its entirety to the mutual satisfaction of both sides. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

 

Well-known developer and businessman Greg Kavanagh and his brother Hugh have settled a High Court action initiated by Hugh over his alleged removal as director of 19 companies.

Mr Justice Senan Allen was told on Monday the case had been settled and resolved in its entirety to the mutual satisfaction of both sides.

Rossa Fanning SC, for Bernard Kavanagh, otherwise known as Hugh Kavanagh, said a settlement had been concluded, which was to be made a rule of court. No details of the settlement were outlined to the court.

Mr Fanning had secured permission last week to serve the proceedings at short notice on Greg Kavanagh.

Counsel, during that ex parte application (one side only represented), described the matter as an “unfortunate” and urgent commercial dispute and said relations between the brothers had deteriorated in recent times.

In broad terms, Greg Kavanagh was seen as the “front of house” of the business while Hugh Kavanagh had a hands-on role in terms of actual building work and development activity, Mr Fanning said.

Hugh Kavanagh estimated the net value of Structured Marshalled Investments Ltd (SMIL), the main holding company for the business, was €35 million, the court also heard.

The proceedings were brought by Hugh Kavanagh and Simlur Ltd, a company of which Hugh Kavanagh is owner and sole director, against Greg Kavanagh and 20 companies, including SMIL, New Generation Homes Ltd and Isotonic Hotel Ltd.

Hugh Kavanagh claimed he had been removed as a director of 19 of the 20 defendant companies but had not been removed as a director of one defendant firm, Bezzu Corporation Ltd.

Successful business

In court documents, he said he had operated a property and construction business with Greg, his younger brother, for 17 years and they had worked closely together to build up a very successful business.

Up until about six weeks ago, they had had a very close personal relationship as brothers, each was best man at the other’s wedding and Greg was godfather to two of his three children, Mr Kavanagh said.

One investor in some of the projects “described us as being like Siamese twins,” he said. He said important decisions were made jointly and it was always agreed they owned the business equally.

He said this was formalised in 2018 when 50 per cent of the shares in SMIL, the main holding company for the business, were transferred to his holding company, Simlur.

In recent months, his relationship with Greg had deteriorated, he claimed, and his brother, he asserted, had allegedly purported to remove him as director of 19 of the companies.