Quinns win right to initiate proceedings against Drumm

Family intends to sue former Anglo chief executive over loans issued to Quinn companies

The family of bankrupt former billionaire Sean Quinn have secured leave from the High Court to serve intended legal proceedings on former Anglo Irish Bank chief executive David Drumm at his address in the United States.

The Quinns intend to sue Mr Drumm and ten other former Anglo directors, along with the Central Bank and Department of Finance in their capacity as reglators, over loans of some €2.34 billion allegedly unlawfully issued by Anglo to Quinn companies during 2007 and 2008.

It is alleged those loans were intended to fund margin calls on Contract for Difference positions held by the Quinn family in Anglo shares.

Mrs Patricia Quinn and her five chidlren claim Mr Drumm was, between 2004 and 2008, directly involved in, and played "a leading role" as chief executive, in the alleged actions of Anglo.


The ten former directors are - Declan Quilligan, Wetherby Place, London; Patrick Whelan, Coast Road, Malahide, Co Dublin; Lar Bradshaw, Church Road, Killiney, Co Dublin; Fintan Drury, Old Rissian Village, Kilquade, Co Wicklow; Noel Harwerth, Grosvenor Square, London; Anne Heraty, Highfield Road, Rathgar, Dublin; Michael Jacob, Newtownpark Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin; Willie McAteer, Auburn Villas, Rathgar, Dublin; Gerard William McGann, Stonehouse, Donnybrook, Dublin; and Edmond Francis Sullivan, Linden Fields, Grove Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin.

The Quinns allege the former directors either collectively or individually authorised the advancing of loans to Quinn companies and this was illegal and/or wrongful and caused damage to the Quinns.

They are claiming damages against all defendants for alleged conspiracy, breach of duty including, statutory duty and fiduciary duty, negligence, misfeasance in public office.

In reply to Mr Justice Kevin Cross today about the "staus" of Mr Drumm, Martin Hayden SC, for the Quinns, said Mr Drumm was not a bankrupt and his side were proceeding against Mr Drumm.

Counsel also indicated his side would apply, at a later stage, to have their proceedings against the various defendants fast-tracked in the Commercial Court.

The Quinns intend these latest proceedings against the regulators and former directors will be consolidated with their existing proceedings against Irish Bank Resolution Corporation in which they contend they are not liable for the €2.34 billion loans on grounds those were unlawfully made to prop up Anglo's then plummeting share price.

The existing action against IBRC, known as the main action, has been "parked" pending the conclusion of criminal proceedings against Mr Whelan, Mr McAteer and former Anglo chairman Sean Fitzpatrick, who has been adjudicated bankrupt.

Today, Mr Justice Cross granted Mr Hayden leave to issue plenary proceeidings against Mr Drumm and to serve those proceedings on him at an address at Old Colony Road, Wellesley, Massachusetts, US.

In the intended proceedings, the Quinns allege the defendants, their servants and/or agents conspired to commmit illegal and/or unlawful acts through breaches of Section 60 of the Companies Act and the regulations issued under the EC Market Abuse directive.

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan

Mary Carolan is the Legal Affairs Correspondent of the Irish Times