The utterly frustrating and opaque nature of the Irish court system has been a constant thorn in the side of reporting NAMA’s activities this year. Today we learn via the Court Service that on Friday last 21st December 2012, NAMA filed an application in Dublin’s High Court – reference 2012/4751 S – and the respondent is merely identified as Ronan King. And beyond that, we know very little about the application.
The applicant is National Asset Loan Management Agency which looks like an error and should probably read “National Asset Loan Management Limited” and for the first time apparently, NAMA is represented by Dublin solicitors, Gartlan Furey. As is usual with recently-filed applications, there is no solicitor on record for the respondent.
So, NAMA won’t comment on individual litigation, not even to confirm the identity of whom they’re suing. Nor will the solicitors acting for NAMA. The Court Service won’t tell you and even if you turn up in person at the Central Office of the High Court, they will only provide information to the solicitors in the case, they WON’T even provide information to barristers acting in the case. The respondent in this case, Ronan King, doesn’t have solicitors on record yet, so comment can’t be sought from them either.
There are a number of Ronan Kings who are directors of Irish companies and there are other Ronan Kings in Ireland and of course we don’t even know if the “Ronan King” is Irish. And that is what is infuriating, together with the fact we don’t know what the application relates to and what remedy is being sought by NAMA. In the past NAMA has innocuously filed protective applications relating to certain transactions it was examining because the Statute of Limitations might prevent it from taking future action, but at the other end of the scale, NAMA has sought very substantial judgments against individuals on foot of personal guarantees.
So far in 2012, NAMA has filed 38 applications and has been on the receiving end of 10 applications in Dublin’s High Court. As we saw from the recent report on NAMA legal fees in 2012, the Agency has also been active in a wide variety of other jurisdictions.
UPDATE: 6th January, 2013. The Sunday Times – not available without subscription – today reports that the “Ronan King” that is being sued by NAMA is the former partner at BDO Simpson Xavier and the former chief executive of Property Industry Ireland, and NAMA is taking foreclosure action on foot of loans involving the Spawell lesiure centre in Templeogue, Dublin.
UPDATE: 24th April, 2013. We have confirmation in today’s Q4,2012 NAMA report and accounts that NAMA is suing Ronan King for €559,700.71.