Irish Bank Resolution Corporation [formerly Anglo Irish Bank] to challenge Sean Quinn’s UK bankruptcy application

Interesting development in the continuing complicated legal battle between Sean Quinn, and family, and the artists formerly known as Anglo Irish Bank [now the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC)].

On Friday Sean Quinn was declared bankrupt at the High Court in Belfast despite, as the BBC report puts it, “the majority of the 64-year-old’s holdings and debt being from the Irish Republic.”

The application to be declared bankrupt in the UK came just days before a Dublin Court was due to hear an application from IBRC to enforce repayment of €2billion in loans which had been personally guaranteed by Sean Quinn.  From the BBC report on 4 November

RTE’s Prime Time said Anglo went to the High Court in Dublin on Wednesday and lodged documents detailing its decision to call in the guarantees.

It said the loans include one of 1.3bn euros, one of $820m and one of 200m yen all taken by Mr Quinn personally.

They are also calling in personal guarantees by Mr Quinn and his wife for a home improvement loan of 3.5m euros.

As the Irish Times report, on the completion of the sale of Quinn Insurance, notes

The former owner of Quinn Insurance, Seán Quinn, was declared bankrupt at Belfast High Court and his worldwide assets are now under the control of the Official Receiver in Northern Ireland.  [added emphasis]

Solicitors for Mr Quinn, at one time thought to be Ireland’s richest businessman with personal wealth of more than €4 billion, told the court that he had assets of less than £50,000, no income, no property and a pension that would pay less than £10,000 when drawn down.

Mr Quinn and his family owe the State, by way of Anglo Irish Bank loans, up to €2.9 billion, according to the IBRC. Mr Quinn told the court that something more than €2 billion of this was in dispute and was the subject of proceedings in Dublin.

Today Dublin’s Commercial Court has reportedly been told that “Anglo Irish Bank is to apply to annul Sean Quinn’s insolvency proceedings in Northern Ireland.”  From the RTÉ report

Mr Quinn applied to have himself made bankrupt in the High Court in Belfast on Friday.

In his petition to the court in Belfast, which was obtained by lawyers for IBRC this morning, he said he was doing this as the registered office and place of business of the Quinn Group companies was Derrylin in County Fermanagh.

He also said he was domiciled for tax purposes in Northern Ireland and his tax affairs were conducted in the UK.

Senior Counsel Paul Gallagher, for IBRC, said the bank had evidence which contradicted Mr Quinn’s claim that his centre of main interest was in the North.

IBRC claims that Mr Quinn consistently indicated that his home address was Ballyconnell in County Cavan in the annual returns of 95 companies of which he was or is a director. He does not hold any directorships with active UK companies, the court was told.

The bank intends to bring an application by the end of this week or early next week to have the bankruptcy annulled.

An adjournment has been granted until next Monday on the loan guarantees case to allow the Northern Ireland authorities to indicate their position to the Irish Courts.