Saturday, 25 October 2008

Legal move to make developer pay €7.5m adjourned

A LEGAL action to compel developer Bernard McNamara to pay €7.5 million to three businessmen, a tax consultant and a banker for their shareholdings in a property company has been adjourned at the Commercial Court after indications the matter may be resolved.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly yesterday agreed to adjourn proceedings after being told by Michael Cush SC, for the plaintiffs, that the matter may not trouble the court. The case was adjourned to December 8th next.

The proceedings relate to Novorstan Ltd, with offices at Clanwilliam Court, Dublin 2. Its shareholders are Mr McNamara, Ailesbury Road, Dublin 4; Gary Smith, Hazelhatch, Newcastle, Co Dublin; Ivor Dougan, Booterstown, Co Dublin; Paschal Taggart, Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin; Terry Cooney, a tax consultant, of Fitz-william Square, Dublin; and Shane Taggart, a banker, with an address at Brompton Road, London.

The shareholders came together in 2004 to acquire properties within a site adjacent to Grafton Street, Dublin, in order to carry out a major commercial development on the site.

Mr McNamara is now being sued by the other five arising from an option deed of September 2004 under which the plaintiffs claim they granted Mr McNamara the option to require them to sell shares in Novorstan and other specified companies for a price in accordance with the deed.

They claim the minimum amount due to them is €7.5 million and Mr McNamara has no bona fide defence to their claim for that amount. They claim Mr McNamara in September 2006 exercised his option requiring them to sell their shares, but they expressed dissatisfaction with a valuation on the properties and an independent valuation was secured between the sides.

They claim they notified Mr McNamara in August 2008 that they were accepting €7.5 million as the option price for the purpose of the option deed. Mr McNamara's solicitors replied that the plaintiffs could not unilaterally vary procedures set down in the option deeds. The plaintiffs' solicitors responded that if the shares were not purchased by September 26th last, proceedings would be served on Mr McNamara.

It is claimed some €3.17 million is due to Mr Smith and also to Mr Dougan, and €385,000 to Paschal Taggart, while Mr Cooney and Shane Taggart each claim to be owed €384,750.

The Irish Times

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