Dunne’s transfer of assets challenged

Sean Dunne

A dispute over whether bankrupt developer Sean Dunne validly transferred various property assets to his wife Gayle, including a hotel in South Africa, has come before the Commercial Court.

Mr Dunne has debts of up to €700m and Chris Lehane, the official administering his bankruptcy, is concerned about a purported agreement under which Mr Dunne allegedly transferred his interest in a number of properties in Ireland and South Africa to his wife. Those properties include the Lagoon Beach Hotel in Cape Town.

In his Commercial Court proceedings, Mr Lehane is seeking to have the court decide whether Mr Dunne owns the assets or whether they were validly transferred by him to his wife under agreements between the two. Mr Lehane disputes there was any valid transfer.

Mark Sanfey, counsel for Mr Lehane, applied yesterday to have the case fast-tracked in the Commercial Court but Brian O’Moore, counsel for Ms Dunne, objected on grounds of alleged delay by Mr Lehane in bringing the proceedings.

Mr O’Moore also said that his side had issues whether certain matters raised in an affidavit of Mr Lehane were in breach of an order made in court proceedings in South Africa, and he wanted a two week adjournment.

Mr Sanfey said this suggestion was news to his side but there would be no dissemination of of the affidavit in the interim.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern said he would transfer the case to the court and made directions for the exchange of legal documents between the sides.


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