Trevor White resolves court dispute involving family home

Financial fund secures €3.9m judgment against publisher’s parents and two companies

The actions concerning Trevor White, above, and members of his family arose following the breakdown of a settlement agreement entered into in 2017 in relation to  loan facilities advanced in 2005

The actions concerning Trevor White, above, and members of his family arose following the breakdown of a settlement agreement entered into in 2017 in relation to loan facilities advanced in 2005

 

Publisher Trevor White has resolved a High Court dispute with a financial fund on terms which will allow him to keep his family home.

In separate but related proceedings, the fund secured judgment for €3.9 million against Mr White’s parents, Peter White and Alicia White, and two related companies, for the balance of monies it claims are outstanding from various loans advanced over a decade ago.

The actions concerning Trevor White and members of his family, taken by Feniton Property Finance DAC, arose following the breakdown of a settlement agreement entered into in May 2017 in relation to a number of loan facilities advanced in 2005.

The loans were from Bank of Scotland Ireland to Peter, Alicia and Trevor White, and a related company to a trust into which ownership of the house at Mountpleasant Square, Ranelagh, Dublin, was put.

The trustees of the trust, the Mountpleasant Settlement, are Trevor White and his parents. The loans were later bought by Feniton.

Not satisfied

Feniton made a demand for payment of those loans, which it claims was not satisfied.

Following the breakdown of the settlement agreement the fund appointed Ken Tyrrell as receiver and issued proceedings, seeking judgment against Trevor, Peter and Alicia White.

Feniton and the receiver also sought an injunction against Mr White, his wife Susan Jane White, and his parents seeking possession of the property.

The dispute, which was opposed, was listed before Mr Justice Michael Quinn on Friday.

Rossa Fanning SC with Stephen Byrne, for Feniton, said that, following negotiations, the matter had been resolved on terms that would have the effect of allowing Trevor White remain in his home.

Counsel said it had been agreed judgment was to be made in favour of Feniton for a sum of €1.2 million, and a declaration was to be made that the receiver was entitled to possession of the property.

Six months

Those orders, counsel said, are to be stayed for six months. During that period, it was agreed certain payments were to be made to the fund, which, if made, will allow Mr White remain in the property.

Keith Farry, for Trevor White; Arthur Cunningham, for Susan Jane White; Gavan Mooney SC, for Peter White; and Jarlath Ryan, for Alicia White, all said they were consenting to the settlement agreement.

In separate cases, Mr Justice Quinn ruled Feniton was entitled to summary judgments totalling €3.9 million against Peter and Alicia White, and against two companies, Dublin Land Securities Ltd and Blue Nile Holdings Ltd.

Feniton sought the summary judgments over monies loaned to the respondents to fund the purchase and refurbishment of properties at Wellington Road, Heytesbury Lane, Dublin 4, and St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, and were put into investment funds.

The loans were advanced by BOSI between 2006 and 2008 and acquired by Feniton in 2015.

Following alleged default on the loans, the parties entered into a settlement agreement in 2017 in respect of amounts allegedly due and owning.

However, the settlement agreement was terminated, resulting in the dispute being admitted to the Commercial Court.

Feniton’s judgment applications were opposed and it was claimed an arguable defence had been raised by the defendants and the cases should go to full hearings.

Complaints

The defendants made a number of complaints including about how Feniton, and the receivers appointed by it, who had disposed of certain assets owned by the defendants to reduce their indebtedness after the 2017 agreement broke down, had conducted themselves.

Peter White had indicated to the court a willingness to consent to judgment for an undisputed amount.

In his judgment, Mr Justice Quinn said he was not persuaded the defendants in these cases had raised an arguable defence to summary judgment.

The Judge said the defendants had claimed the fund was unduly aggressive and had taken unfair advantage of its position given.it had purchased the loans at a discount.

Those complaints did not go to the validity of the claim for repayment of the overdue balances and cannot form the basis of an arguable defence, he said.

The defendants also did not offer evidence to challenge propositions including the loans were past their due dates for repayment, were in default and the terms of the settlement agreement were not met by the defendants.

‘Default’ interest

The judge said one aspect of the action, a claim of €530,000 for “default” interest applied to the account of Dublin Land Securities Ltd, should be remitted for a plenary hearing.

Following his decision, Mr Justice Quinn agreed to put a stay until December 31st next on the execution of the judgments against Peter and Alicia White.