[You’ll find the application by the trustee to appoint his law firm to assist with the case here, you’ll find the judge’s approval here and you’ll find NAMA’s entry of appearance notifying the bankruptcy trustee of its US law firm here]
The US bankruptcy trustee in the Sean Dunne bankruptcy filing has had an epiphany and decided that, nine days after Sean Dunne’s Good Friday bankruptcy filing, that his “ initial investigation indicates that the debtor’s financial affairs are varied and complex”. He has sought and received permission from the Connecticut bankruptcy court to appoint a law firm to assist him with the various aspects of this case. NAMA will be pleased that its case against Sean and wife Gayle is to the fore of the bankruptcy trustee’s consideration. In the application by the trustee to get more help he says “the trustee intends to take over the pending fraudulent conveyance litigation if it appears to have merit.”
NAMA seems to think that there are millions of dollars to be recovered from the Dunnes from what NAMA claims was unlawful transfer of wealth from Sean to his wife Gayle, something hotly contest by the Dunnes. So if it were 100% certain that the courts would side with NAMA and that the funds were recoverable, then the trustee would almost definitely pursue the litigation. But of course no legal action is 100% certain, and, as the US courts have refused to grant NAMA orders freezing the Dunnes’ assets, there is no 100% certainty that assets could be recovered even if the trustee, acting for NAMA, were to pursue and win the action.
So the bankruptcy trustee, Richard M Coan sought permission from the judge to engage his own law firm Coan, Lewendon, Gulliver & Miltenberger (pictured above) and the judge gave his approval today.
Irish legal eagles might want to take note that the fees chargeable by US lawyers are USD 175 – USD 385 per hour (€135-295). It seems that these additional costs are deducted from the debtor’s assets before distribution to creditors.
NAMA has also made sure that its US law firm McCarter and English is on record as its representative in the bankruptcy proceedings. As we saw over the weekend, the judge has scheduled a hearing on 13th May 2013 to decide if Sean has complied with filing requirements and rectified his omission of documents in the initial filing. There is an audience eagerly awaiting Sean’s statement of financial affairs.