Sibling row over Beacon hotel sale goes to Commercial Court

Brother says Sandyford hotel was sold for €30m and he is owed €3.75m

The Beacon Court Hotel in Sandyford. Photograph: Eric Luke

The Beacon Court Hotel in Sandyford. Photograph: Eric Luke

 

A dispute between siblings over proceeds of the 2016 sale of the Beacon Court Hotel in Dublin has been entered into the fast-track Commercial Court list.

Patrick Fitzpatrick is suing his brother Paul Fitzpatrick, claiming he holds 12.5 per cent of the sale proceeds, estimated at €3.75 million, in trust for him under an agreement made in May 2011.

He alleges the Sandyford hotel was sold in 2016 for about €30 million and he is seeking, among other things, a court order for the restitution of the monies he claims to be owed.

Paul Fitzpatrick, currently living in Beverly Hills, California, sought entry of the proceedings to the fast-track Commercial Court list on Monday.

Details

In an affidavit, he said his brother has failed to provide any meaningful details of the facts grounding the action. He said it was his intention to bring an application for the dismissal of the proceedings on grounds that they fail to disclose a reasonable cause of action and/or are frivolous and vexatious.

He said he was concerned the case may be an abuse of process in that the plaintiff has “no genuine belief” in the merits of the case and is pursuing it “solely for the purpose of harassment”.

He said he and his brother were some years ago shareholders, along with two others, in Pinnacle Properties Ltd, which formerly owned the hotel. He said the company ceased to hold any interest in the hotel as long ago as 2013.

He said the plaintiff appears to “mistakenly contend” that his former 12.5 per cent interest in that company entitles him to a share in the 2016 sale proceeds. However, he said a receiver was appointed in 2012 over the interests of Pinnacle and a group of tax investors in the hotel.

Interest

Paul Fitzpatrick claims that he and another businessman set up a company named Okinawa Ltd, which purchased Pinnacle’s interest and the tax investors’ interest in the hotel from the receiver in 2013.

He said the transaction proceeded by way of asset transfer and not a share sale, meaning that Pinnacle then ceased to have any interest in the hotel.

He said there would have been no reason to proceed by way of a share sale as there was no value attributable to the Pinnacle shares at the time of the transaction due to its indebtedness and the appointment of a receiver.

Mr Justice Denis McDonald entered the proceedings into the Commercial list on Monday, giving the application to dismiss the proceedings a provisional hearing date in March.