Members of Sean Quinn’s family apply for access to frozen accounts

Quinns seek access to funds frozen in 2012 to pay lawyers, Commercial Court hears

 Members of Sean Quinn’s (above) family have applied for access to their frozen accounts. Photograph: Collins

Members of Sean Quinn’s (above) family have applied for access to their frozen accounts. Photograph: Collins

 

Members of Sean Quinn’s family want permission to vary a freezing order on their accounts so they can pay the lawyers representing them in their long-running action against Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), the Commercial Court heard.

The case, initiated in 2011, is currently being heard by Mr Justice Garrett Simons and may last months.

In that action, the Quinns dispute any liability for share pledges and guarantees related to loans of some €2.34 billion advanced by IBRC’s predecessor, Anglo Irish Bank, to Quinn companies.

A separate case by IBRC against various Quinn family members and other parties – alleging a conspiracy to strip some €455m in assets from Quinn International Property Group (IPG) companies in several countries – is due to be heard after the loans liability action.

In 2012, the Commercial Court imposed freezing orders on the Quinn bank accounts. Since then they have had to make application to the court to vary those orders to allow for living expenses and legal fees to be paid out.

On Monday, Ross Alyward BL, for the Quinns, said he wished to apply to the court next week to vary the freezing order to enable his clients provide security over a property and to draw down a loan of £250,000 (€291,000) to facilitate their continued involvement in the main loan liability proceedings.

It was an urgent application given the ongoing nature of those proceedings and the fact an invoice has come from their solicitor, he said.

Barry O’Donnell SC, for IBRC, opposed the application. He said his client will seek to apply to the court for “substantial reassessment” of the variations already made to the freezing orders.

This was in light of new information disclosed in relation to the case against two Dubai firms, Senat FZC and Senat Legal Consultancy, which IBRC says are central to the alleged IPG asset-stripping conspiracy.

Mr Justice Robert Haughton said the Quinn application and the IBRC application should be heard together because they related to available resources in the freezing order case.

He adjourned the matter for a week.