Food critic Trevor White pulls out of personal insolvency moves

Trevor White. File photo

Publisher and food critic Trevor White has pulled out of moves to seek a personal insolvency arrangement to deal with his debts, the High Court has heard.

It means a fund-appointed receiver's application to take possession of Mr White's family home in Mountpleasant Square, Ranelagh, Dublin, valued at around €1.3m, can now go ahead against him and other members of his family.

He had obtained protective certificate - a precursor to a personal insolvency arrangement - from the Circuit Court.

But today, Rossa Fanning SC, for the receiver and the fund, told the High Court Mr White has consented to withdraw the certificate.

The Circuit Court will be informed of this next Tuesday.

His protective certificate application arose out of separate proceedings relating to €5.6m in debts run up by himself and his parents Peter and Alicia White.

Those proceedings, in the main, arose out of an alleged breach of a settlement agreement entered into in May 2017 in relation to a number of loan facilities advanced in 2005.

The loans were from Bank of Scotland Ireland to Peter, Alicia and Trevor White, to a trust into which ownership of the house was put, and a company, Dublin Land Securities, Wellington Road, Dublin.

The trustees of the trust, the Mountpleasant Settlement, are Trevor White and his parents.

The loans were later bought by Feniton Property Finance.

Feniton claimed they breached the 2017 settlement because they did not make a promised payment of €4m. As a result, it appointed Ken Tyrrell as receiver and issued proceedings.

A central issue in the case was the Mountpleasant Square house where Trevor and Susan Jane White live with their two children.

Feniton's security over the property is a first-ranking deed of mortgage created by the trustees of the Mountpleasant Settlement.

As part of its proceedings, Feniton and Mr Tyrrell applied for an injunction seeking vacant possession of the house.

The fund also sought summary judgment in relation to the overall debt.

That judgment application against three of the defendants, not Trevor, was heard by the High Court in early April.

A decision on that is awaited.

Mr Fanning told Mr Justice Michael Quinn that also in early April, it "came as news" to his side that Mr White had got a protective certificate on April 2.

This raised an issue over whether or not the injunction proceedings, seeking possession, could continue against the other defendants.

Feniton and the receiver then applied to the High Court for liberty to continue the injunction application notwithstanding the protective certificate application and to set aside the protective certificate.

Mr Fanning said that application was due to be heard today but following discussions with Keith Farry BL, for Mr White, he had consented to an order setting aside the protective certificate.

Counsel said the injunction application could now go ahead and he sought a date for the hearing.

Mr Justice Quinn adjourned the matter to next month for mention when a hearing date will be set.

This article was amended on May 30.

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