Quinns entitled to privilege over most documents sought by IBRC

Judge finds adult children entitled to privilege over all but 16 of 313 documents sought

The five children, in their case against IBRC and its special liquidators, dispute any liability for loans to Quinn companies of some €2.34 billion advanced by the collapsed Anglo Irish Bank. Photograph: iStock

The five children, in their case against IBRC and its special liquidators, dispute any liability for loans to Quinn companies of some €2.34 billion advanced by the collapsed Anglo Irish Bank. Photograph: iStock

 

The five adult children of businessman Seán Quinn are entitled to maintain privilege over most of 313 documents which Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) says it needs to defend the family’s claim that share pledges and personal guarantees in relation to €2.34 billion loans are invalid.

Mr Justice Robert Haughton, in a pre-trial Commercial Court ruling, said the Quinns are entitled to assert privilege over all but 16 of 313 documents sought by IBRC.

The judge had examined the documents himself after a dispute arose between the Quinns and IBRC in relation to certain categories of documents which the bank sought in preparation for the trial, due to open next month.

The material was held by Mason Hayes & Curran (MHC), the Quinns’ former solicitors.

Legal firm Eversheds took over the case for the Quinns after MHC, due to potential conflict of interest, was unable to continue to act for them.

The five children, Ciara, Colette, Brenda, Aoife, and Seán junior, in their case against IBRC and its special liquidators, dispute any liability for loans to Quinn companies of some €2.34 billion advanced by the collapsed Anglo Irish Bank, IBRC’s predecessor in title.

Beneficial owners

The five say they were the beneficial owners of the Quinn Group insurance and manufacturing arms and of a complex structure of companies known as the International Property Group (IPG). The IPG was established so the five would each have their own property and investment portfolios.

The Quinns say share pledges, personal guarantees and indemnities executed by them are invalid and unenforceable on grounds including alleged undue influence and/or unconscionable bargain.

IBRC denies the claims and has counterclaimed for recovery of the debts.

IBRC has a separate action against various Quinn family members and companies alleging a conspiracy to put assets beyond the bank’s reach. That will be heard after the adult children’s case.

The parties have attempted to resolve the cases through mediation but Mr Justice Michael Twomey, who is to hear the adult children’s case, expected to last six months, was told on Tuesday the latest mediation had not been successful.