End of Drumm cases clears way for resumption of Quinn-IBRC battle

DPP was concerned that material likely to be aired could have affected the criminal cases

Two upcoming legal battles between the family of Seán Quinn, above, and Irish Bank Resolution Corporation will now be accelerated.   File photograph: Alan Betson

Two upcoming legal battles between the family of Seán Quinn, above, and Irish Bank Resolution Corporation will now be accelerated. File photograph: Alan Betson

 

Former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm’s decision to plead guilty to further charges related to the bank’s collapse will accelerate two upcoming legal battles between the family of Seán Quinn and Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), which comprises what was once Anglo.

Mr Drumm, who this month received six years in prison for conspiracy to defraud via Anglo’s accounting practices, on Friday pleaded guilty to 10 further charges related to loans given in 2008 to businessmen to support Anglo’s share price.

A further 21 charges were subsequently withdrawn by the State. There are now no more criminal proceedings pending over the collapse of Anglo.

Civil proceedings

The end of the criminal trials clears the way for the resumption of various civil proceedings related to Anglo that have been delayed for up to six years at the request of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

It is understood the DPP was concerned that certain material that is likely to be aired during the various Quinn-IBRC legal battles could have affected the criminal cases.

The special liquidators of IBRC – KPMG restructuring experts Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson – are now expected to ask the DPP to withdraw its objections to the various civil proceedings between the bank and the Quinns.

January

The first to hit the courts will be a 2011 action against IBRC filed by the wife and five children of Mr Quinn, who have denied any liability for €2.34 billion in boomtime loans advanced to various Quinn companies.

The DPP first raised concerns over this case in 2012. Discovery has been completed, and it now appears to be on course for a January 2019 trial date.

The Quinns are seeking declarations from the court that would effectively reverse and declare illegal the bank’s seizure of Quinn assets, and award them damages.

The second action, known as the “conspiracy case”, was taken by IBRC against members of the Quinn family. IBRC alleges there was a conspiracy to put Quinn property assets beyond the reach of the liquidators, which is denied.

This case was also stayed at the request of the DPP, although it is far behind the other action. The Quinn family declined to comment last night. The IBRC liquidators were unavailable.

Final obstacles

The legal actions with the Quinns are among the final obstacles preventing the wind-up of IBRC.

The end of the various criminal proceedings may also see the resumption of a professional disciplinary tribunal into the work of Anglo’s former auditor, EY.

The Chartered Accountants of Ireland’s professional standards division, the regulatory body previously known as Carb, in 2011 halted disciplinary proceedings examining EY’s €1 million annual Anglo audit.

It has since been proven in the criminal proceedings that figures in the accounts were manipulated by bank executives.

Intervention

Carb paused the tribunal following an intervention from the DPP, which wanted to protect the criminal proceedings.

Professional Standards last night said it “notes the guilty pleas entered by David Drumm. and the announcement from the DPP that it does not intend to pursue other charges against [him].”

It said it will “maintain the present position pending further discussions with the DPP”.

Neither the DPP nor EY provided a response to requests for comment.