It was almost looking as if NAMA might see out the month of January 2013 without initiating new litigation, but yesterday the Agency lodged an application against an individual called “John Fraher” at Dublin’s High Court. The case reference is 2013/213 S and the applicant is National Asset Loan Management Limited represented by Hayes solicitors. The respondent is merely named as John Fraher and as is usual with recently filed applications, there is no solicitor for the respondent.
We don’t know any more about the respondent John Fraher. There is a “John Fraher” who was a director of a company, Peleton Limited to which NAMA had RSM Grant Farrell Sparks appointed as receiver in June 2011. It is one of Jack Ronan’s companies. However, IT SHOULD BE STRESSED that there is no indication that this is the John Fraher being sued by NAMA now. In Ireland, the court service does not provide information on applications, so we don’t have any address or other information which might assist us in identifying the respondent. NAMA generally doesn’t comment on individual cases, not even to identify the respondent.
In the past, NAMA has taken legal action against individuals to enforce personal guarantees or to secure personal judgments, but it should be stressed that we do not know if either of these objectives lies behind the current application.
This is the first application by NAMA in the Dublin High Court in 2013 and there has yet to be an application against NAMA this year. Last year, NAMA initiated about 40 cases in the High Court and was on the receiving end of about 10.
UPDATE: 22nd March 2013. Fair play to the current issue of The Phoenix magazine – not available online without subscription – for rooting out what it reports as the background to the above case. It says that the “John Fraher” who is the subject of the NAMA application is the Tipperary businessman, and a business associate of Jack Ronan, of the Ronan dynasty who was recently the villain in the Vita Cortex pantomime. John, says The Phoenix, is based in the UK and was served with the application by NAMA there. The Phoenix reports on the Jack Ronan/John Fraher business history where they were together involved in La Plagne Limited who owned supermarkets in Ireland, but the pair has apparently fallen out. The NAMA case against John Fraher is said to involve “more than €5m” and partly relates to loans on the Poppyfield Retail Business Park in Clonmel and a retail development in Ballincollig, county Cork.