Three barred from disclosing information about aircraft lessor

Cantillon: Three executives will have chance to respond to Stellwagen’s allegations

Howard Millar. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Howard Millar. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 

Howard Millar, Edward Hansom and Edward Coughlan will have the opportunity to respond to their former employer, aircraft lessor, Stellwagen’s allegations next week.

Stellwagen got an interim High Court order barring the three men from using information on the company, or interfering in relations with its clients, investors or financial backers.

The company obtained the order at an ex parte hearing, meaning that the three men were not represented in court. As a result, they have not yet had the chance to put their side of the case.

This type of proceeding is not uncommon in cases where one side is in a hurry to prevent the other from doing something. However, the other side ultimately has to get its opportunity to respond, and the Stellwagen issue is due back in court on Tuesday.

Stellwagen claims that former Ryanair finance chief Millar, who was chief operating officer of one of its companies, together with Hansom and Coughlan, who also held senior roles with the group, “clandestinely” attempted to divert business away from it.

Group chief executive Douglas Brennan’s affidavit, indicates that Stellwagen feared that it could have lost out on substantial profits as a result. In instance, Mr Brennan alleges that it could have lost out on a $20 million profit on an agreement to lease an airbus craft to Air Senegal in Africa.

Stellwagen claims that Millar and Coughlan had been working on a deal with the African carrier while implying to the company it was not making any progress.

The aircraft lessor also claims to have found evidence that the three were working on setting up a rival operation, Airgreen, and aimed to raise $100 million by November 30th, shortly before the gardening leave imposed on them by Stellwagen was due to expire. The three had resigned on September 4th.

However, there is enough in the affidavit to indicate that Millar, Hansom and Coughlan are likely to challenge a lot of these claims. Also, it seems that Millar says that the company constructively dismissed him. Presumably, as things progress, the other side of the story will emerge as well.

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