Investor in properties in Spain to be paid €368,000


A HIGH Court action over the handling of a €540,000 investment in Spanish properties came back before the court yesterday when it was told a settlement agreed some months ago had fallen through.

After being told the defendants had defaulted on several payments agreed to be made to Cyril McMorrow under the settlement, Ms Justice Mary Laffoy ordered them to pay the total outstanding amount of €368,000.

The settlement was agreed last April in the action against businessman Karl Morris and three of his companies over financial losses incurred by Mr McMorrow (48), Carrick Road, Boyle, Roscommon, over the investment.

Mr McMorrow sued Mr Morris, with addresses in Milltown, Dublin, and Mill House, Schull, Co Cork; two Irish companies of which he is a director, Simple Palmera Properties Ltd (SPP) and Simple Overseas Property Ltd (SOP); and a Spanish company, Simple Property Group SL (SPG), of which Mr Morris is also a director.

Mr McMorrow claimed that, when deciding to invest in Spanish property in 2004, he was assured he would get frontline beachfront apartments built to a specific size and with storerooms, but this had not happened.

He invested €540,000 for 17 apartments in the confident expectation he would make a profit of some €260,000 when the apartments were resold.

He claimed the conduct of Mr Morris and the companies meant he was unable to complete his investment as agreed and this subjected him to serious financial loss.

He claimed his money was passed to a Spanish builder without his knowledge and that he learned in May 2006 that the block of 17 apartments had been sold to other parties.

The defendants denied the claims and said SPP was involved in the marketing, not the sale, of properties in Spain to Irish investors. SPP had made clear at all times to Mr McMorrow that it was acting as an agent for a Spanish company, Prolacon Mar SL of Granada, Spain, they claimed.

They also claimed Mr McMorrow knew, or should have known, that none of the defendants was the owner, builder or seller of the apartments.

All money received by them were as agents for Palmera Properties SL, which received such money as agents of Prolacon Mar SL, the defendants said.

In April, the court was told the sides had reached an agreement on confidential terms and the case was adjourned for the terms of the settlement to be implemented.

Peter Finlay SC, for Mr McMorrow, yesterday asked that judgment be entered in default because the defendants had not complied with the terms of the agreement. One payment had been made in relation to costs but nothing had been paid to Mr McMorrow, Mr Finlay said.

Dominic Hussey SC, for the defendants, said he was not opposing the application but said his clients had been unable to refinance due to the global credit crisis.

He asked that the judgment order apply only to the outstanding amount of €368,000 as one payment had already been made.