Talks continue in ‘Belfry Funds’ investment case

Some 300 investors lost hundreds of thousands in UK property fund

Talks are continuing in an effort to resolve a High Court action affecting some 300 investors who lost hundreds of thousands in a UK property investment fund.

The opening of the “Belfry Funds” case, listed for Tuesday, was again adjourned to Thursday after Mr Justice Brian O’Moore was told on Wednesday that further progress had been made in private talks between the parties which began on Tuesday.

The first case due to be heard is that of 83-year old widow Bernadette Goodwin who, along with her late husband, invested £150,000 (€174,000) in the Belfry 3 fund which was used to buy shares in the Third Belfry Properties (UK) plc. They lost the entire investment, it is claimed.

Her counsel John O’ Donnell SC told the court there had been further progress overnight but the parties were not in a position to finalise matters and needed to have the case put back another day “assuming the positive signs remain positive”.


The judge, noting that on Tuesday he was told that should agreement be reached in the Goodwin case and the linked cases it would take more than a week to finalise the details, said he had spoken to the judge in charge of the commercial list under which these cases fall. He noted a “week’s hiatus” would be required if that happened.

Mr O’Donnell said if it does, the parties would be looking to put it back to Thursday fortnight.

The judge said there would be no difficulty adjourning the matter between now and the end of July but if matters cannot be resolved in the next 24 hours he wanted to proceed with the hearing.

Carte blanche

It was not a carte blanche to mull over it or an invitation to hold out but if significant progress was being made he would give it until Thursday and he would consider what sort of direction the parties may require, he said.

The investors say they invested sums between €100,000 and €400,000 in funds which they alleged were promoted between 2002 and 2006 by AIB and four directors of various companies in the Belfry Properties group. They included property investor Tony Kilduff, and a former head of AIB private banking, John Rockett.

Following the collapse of the funds in 2008, they initiated claims in August 2014 seeking damages on grounds including alleged negligence in the operation of the funds.

The defendants, who are each separately represented, deny the claims.