Businessmen Michael and John O'Flynn and their company O'Flynn Construction Ltd have sued the National Asset Management Agency (Nama), one of its companies and one of its employees, Enda Farrell, for damages over the alleged leak of confidential company information.
Nama acquired loans advanced to the brothers’ companies in 2010 and the parties had engaged in a major restructuring process.
Last May, Mr Farrell, with an address in Belgium, pleaded guilty in Dublin Circuit Court to eight counts of unlawfully disclosing information and was given a two-year suspended sentence.
In July, Nama confirmed to the O’Flynns and their company that information about them had been leaked by Mr Farrell.
In proceedings against Nama, National Asset Loan Management (NALM) and Mr Farrell, the O’Flynn side claim the leaks had a material and depreciative impact on prices achieved by both them and Nama in relation to disposal of assets from 2010-2013 and a significant loan sale in 2014.
They say they cannot quantify their claim pending further investigations and need discovery of certain documentation from the defendants.
After they wrote to Nama seeking the documents, the agency told them that it was seeking guidance from the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation.
The O’Flynn’s lawyers then asked Nama to confirm, subject to there being no objection from gardaí, that it would provide the plaintiffs with the documentation. It is claimed no reply was received.
The O’Flynns and their company have initiated proceedings which they want fast-tracked in the Commercial Court.
They believe Nama will not provide them with the documents sought and, in their action, are claiming damages for alleged breach of confidence, statutory duty and misfeasance in public office.
They also want various orders including directing the defendants to provide them with documents relating to dissemination of confidential information about the O’Flynns and companies they were associated with.
They want all documents showing what confidential information was disseminated, all persons responsible for that dissemination and the names and addresses of those parties who received confidential information.
They also want orders restraining destruction or deletion of any relevant documents.
The matter was briefly mentioned before Mr Justice Brian McGovern at the Commercial Court on Monday. He agreed to adjourn it after questioning if it was appropriate for the Commercial Court list. He asked lawyers in the case to consider that issue between now and next week.