Quinn Insurance to sue PwC for damages

Courts given go ahead for latest move by insurance company’s administrators

President of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, today gave his consent to the administrators of Quinn Insurance to serve a summons on PricewaterhouseCoopers. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

President of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, today gave his consent to the administrators of Quinn Insurance to serve a summons on PricewaterhouseCoopers. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

 

The administrators of Quinn Insurance have been given the go ahead to serve a summons on PricewaterhouseCoopers, the former auditors to the collapsed insurance group.

The President of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, gave his consent after a short hearing this afternoon where he was updated on the administrators’ preparations for the huge commercial action.

The collapse of Quinn Insurance is expected to lead to drawings on the Insurance Compensation Fund of in the region of €1.6 billion and has prompted the Government to establish a 2 per cent levy on all home, motor and commercial insurance policies.

Barrister Bernard Dunleavy, for the administrators, Michael McAteer and Paul McCann of Grant Thornton, told the court that a report had been prepared, by Michael Collins SC and Paul Gallagher SC, covering the matters of guarantees and reserves, and finding that it was appropriate that the case should go ahead.

The Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, had been updated on the preparations for the case and had no objection to the course of action being taken, Mr Dunleavy said. An application would be made shortly to the Commercial Court.

Mr Justice Kearns said he was happy that the administrators proceed as suggested, opening the way for the serving of a summons on PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The use of Quinn Insurance assets to back loans issued to the former billionaire Sean Quinn and his family, is one of the issues set to feature in the case, while the other is the adequacy or otherwise of the insurance company’s reserves.