Mediation fails to resolve dispute over €2.34bn Quinn loans

Action by Sean Quinn’s five adult children against IBRC will go to trial on March 5th

Brenda Quinn (right ), with her sister Colette, will be the first witness to give evidence in the family’s court action against IBRC over responsibility for €2.34 billion in bank loans. Photograph: Collins Courts

Brenda Quinn (right ), with her sister Colette, will be the first witness to give evidence in the family’s court action against IBRC over responsibility for €2.34 billion in bank loans. Photograph: Collins Courts

 

Mediation has failed to resolve the marathon dispute between businessman Sean Quinn’s five adult children and Irish Bank Resolution Corporation concerning loans of €2.34 billion, the High Court has heard.

The mediation, held over two days last week, followed an earlier mediation engagement.

Mr Justice Michael Twomey had urged the sides to consider further mediation before embarking on a hearing next month which could last some six months, incurring costs of several million euro.

On Tuesday, the judge was told by Bernard Dunleavy SC, for the Quinns, that the mediation had taken place but he was sorry to report it had proven unsuccessful. That means the children’s action will proceed on March 5th with an opening statement on behalf of the Quinns, followed by a statement on behalf of the IBRC.

One of the five children, Brenda Quinn, will be the first of about 49 witnesses, who also include former Anglo Irish Bank CEO David Drumm. He is among 42 witnesses who have been subpoenaed to give evidence.

In their action, the five children dispute any liability for loans of some €2.34 billion advanced by Anglo Irish Bank, IBRC’s predecessor in title, to Quinn companies.

Parallel litigation

The case was initiated in 2011 and the hearing costs will be on top of costs of tens of millions already incurred in the family’s case and in parallel litigation by the bank against members of the Quinn family and various companies in the Quinn international property group.

The bank’s case, in which IBRC alleges a conspiracy to strip some €455 million assets from companies in the property group in several countries, is due for hearing after the children’s action.

Both cases were put on hold for several years pending the hearing of criminal proceedings against various Anglo executives and officials, including Mr Drumm.

The core issue in the Quinns case is the validity of securities provided by them concerning loans advanced by Anglo to Quinn companies.

On Tuesday, Mr Justice Twomey held a further case management hearing where he was told of the failed mediation.

Paper-free

He was also given a demonstration of technology to be used during the hearing which will involve documents being uploaded on to computers so as to make the hearing paper-free.

The children’s case is against IBRC and receivers appointed over assets of the Quinns.

Sean Quinn snr and two former Quinn group executives – Liam McCaffrey and Dara O’Reilly – were previously joined as third parties in the context of the bank’s claims that they acted as agents for the children in relation to disputed securities. That claim is denied.