Sean Dunne seeks access to documents for bankruptcy hearing

Official assignee Chris Lehane wants duration extended for alleged non co-operation

Sean Dunne was adjudicated bankrupt in 2013.

Sean Dunne was adjudicated bankrupt in 2013.

 

Businessman Sean Dunne has asked the High Court for orders giving him access to documents which he says are necessary for the forthcoming hearing of a bid to extend his Irish bankruptcy.

Official assignee Chris Lehane, who is administering Mr Dunne’s Irish bankruptcy, is seeking to have the bankruptcy extended for the maximum term of eight years over alleged non co-operation by Mr Dunne, which he denies.

Ms Justice Caroline Costello began hearing the discovery application on Monday and will resume the hearing on Wednesday.

Bill Shipsey SC, for Mr Dunne, said his side were seeking discovery of three categories of documents including certain correspondence of Mr Lehane.

Some of the correspondence sought by the Dunne side includes all correspondence between 2013 and 2017 between Mr Lehane and the US trustee administering Mr Dunne’s bankruptcy there.

Ulster Bank petitioned the High Court in February 2013 to have Mr Dunne adjudicated bankrupt here over default on some €164 million loans.

The following month, Mr Dunne filed for bankruptcy in Connecticut, US, when he claimed to have debts of $1 billion and assets of $55 million.

In July 2013, he was adjudicated bankrupt here.

In 2016, Mr Lehane initiated the bankruptcy extension application and Mr Dunne’s Irish bankruptcy was temporarily extended pending the full hearing as to whether any extension should be granted.

On Monday, Mr Shipsey said Mr Dunne maintains he had disclosed all of his assets in his statement of affairs in relation to his US bankruptcy and there are no other assets other than those disclosed.

Counsel said it was essential his side got the documents that underpin the official assignee’s belief that Mr Dunne allegedly failed to co-operate.

Mark Sanfey SC, for the official assignee, said they have a major concern about the breadth of the categories of discovery sought by the Dunne side. The application has “all the hallmarks of a fishing expedition”, he said.