Garrett Kelleher fails to win discovery in case against Nama company

Judge refers to ‘fishing expedition’ in relation to some of material requested

The judge refused to make orders compelling National Asset Loan Management to provide Garrett Kelleher, above, with the material sought

The judge refused to make orders compelling National Asset Loan Management to provide Garrett Kelleher, above, with the material sought

 

Developer Garrett Kelleher is not entitled to discovery of certain documents for his action against a Nama company over alleged leaking and dissemination of confidential financial information about himself and his businesses to third parties, the High Court has ruled.

The discovery was sought as part of Mr Kelleher’s damages action against National Asset Loan Management for alleged breach of confidence and alleged deliberate and malicious disclosure of confidential information concerning himself and his Shelbourne Group of companies.

The claims are denied.

In its defence, the company accepts there was unlawful disclosure of certain information by former Nama employee Enda Farrell but says it is not liable for his actions.

Suspended sentence

Mr Farrell previously received a two-year suspended prison sentence for leaking sensitive data to two investment companies.

None of the charges against Mr Farrell related to Mr Kelleher’s affairs.

Mr Farrell, of La Reine, Avenue Louise Brussels, Belgium, and formerly of Dunboyne, Co Meath, had pleaded guilty to eight counts of unlawfully disclosing information, in breach of the 2009 Nama Act, between May and July 2012.

Mr Kelleher, in a pre-trial motion, sought a number of categories of documents from National Asset Loan Management, which it refused to furnish.

The categories included any documents concerning the dissemination of information concerning Mr Kelleher by Mr Farrell and information sent to third parties about Mr Kelleher’s banking and business affairs.

Ruling on the discovery motion, Ms Justice Teresa Pilkington refused to make orders compelling the company to provide Mr Kelleher with the material sought. Some of the categories of the material sought lacked specificity, while others were too broad and were a “fishing expedition”, she said.

She was satisfied certain categories of materials sought, including any information disseminated by Enda Farrell about the developer’s banking affairs, were being provided by the company to Mr Kelleher.

Suspicious

Previously, the court heard Mr Kelleher became suspicious that information he gave to the company appeared in national newspapers in 2011.

He also became suspicious when a bid was made to the company in 2011 by Donald Trump – now US president – for a loan he acquired to build the proposed Chicago Spire. That proposed €1.5 billion development by Mr Kelleher’s companies, which would have been one of the world’s tallest buildings, never proceeded.

Mr Kelleher alleges confidential material, including a business plan that contained a valuation in respect of the loan from Anglo Irish Bank to develop the Chicago Spire, was leaked by the company to people in the US.

That loan was valued in August 2010 as being worth $19.5 million. His belief confidential financial information had been “widely leaked” was heightened by the fact that in September 2011 a bid of $20 million for the Chicago Spire Project was made by the Trump organisation.