Former executives begin talks with Stellwagen over legal dispute

Case involving aircraft finance group could return to court on Wednesday

Businessmen Howard Millar, Edward Hansom and Edward Coughlan began talks on Tuesday with their former employer, aircraft finance group Stellwagen, over a legal dispute that has blown up between the parties.

Stellwagen recently got High Court interim orders barring Mr Millar, its former chief operating officer, and executives Mr Hansom and Mr Coughlan, from disclosing company information to others and from interfering in its relationship with clients, investors, staff or commercial partners.

The case was due back before the court on Tuesday, but the hearing did not go ahead as lawyers for the parties said that they had begun talks early in the afternoon.

Those discussions were continuing last night. It is understood the case could return to court on Wednesday morning.


The court issued the interim orders against the three men last month following an ex parte hearing, which means that they were not represented in court and did not have an opportunity to reply to Stellwagen’s claims.

Mr Millar, who was previously Ryanair’s chief financial officer, Mr Hansom and Mr Coughlan, all resigned from Stellwagen on September 4th.

Court documents show Mr Millar maintains he was constructively dismissed.

The proceedings scheduled to begin yesterday would have dealt with whether or not the court would extend the orders made against the three men until the hearing of a full trial of the dispute between them and their former employer.

Stellwagen's chief executive, Douglas Brennan, alleged in an affidavit that the company discovered a "clandestine" and "concerted" effort by the three men to divert valuable business away from the company, in direct conflict with their legal obligations.

While they have not had the opportunity to respond to Stellwagen’s claims in court, Mr Brennan’s affidavit indicated that the three had challenged the group’s claims when they were put to them.

Mr Brennan founded Stellwagen in Dublin and the US in 2013 to provide finance to airlines seeking to buy new aircraft. It manages $1.7 billion (€1.45 billion)of investors’ money.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas