Bill Cullen: No doubt €11.5m debt will be cleared

Businessman Bill Cullen has told the Commercial Court there is "no doubt" his €11.5m debt to Ulster Bank will be cleared and he became "so irritated" over the approach of receivers in selling assets of his companies that he decided to take legal proceedings.

Mr Cullen, representing himself, said receivers appointed by the bank have reached agreements for sale of five properties for €8.3m. There were another eight to be sold and it was “clear” the bank would get its money, he said.

His “real target” in the case he has brought was the bank and its receivers, and he “might not have got the best advice” in joining more than 20 other parties as defendants, including companies, individual solicitors, and estate agents acting in the intended sales, he told Mr Justice Peter Kelly.

He needed time to get the legal documents together and perhaps seek legal representation, he added. He was concerned the sales were depriving him of monies to which he was entitled and could use for his business.

Mr Cullen was responding to an application on behalf of Ulster Bank Ireland Ltd, and its receivers and its solicitors Arthur Cox, for his case to be fast-tracked in the Commercial Court.

He wants declarations that he has an interest in a number of lands and properties over which receivers were appointed by Ulster Bank in 2012 and 2013. He wants declarations that the appointment of receivers in that regard are null and void, and has also alleged breaches of Central Bank and consumer protection codes.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly said he was satisfied the case was urgent and would transfer it to the Commercial Court. He made directions for exchange of legal documents and returned the matter to October.

Earlier, Bernard Dunleavy, for the bank, Arthur Cox, and individual partners and solicitors of that firm also listed as defendants, said it was urgent as it was delaying intended sales of properties and his side was also very concerned about the “bald” and “wide-ranging” allegations of professional misconduct made against professionals. Those claims were taken very seriously and an affidavit had been sworn rejecting them.

Mr Cullen had registered several lis pendens notices (notification of pending litigation) over properties in which he was claiming to have a beneficial interest, the court heard.

After Mr Cullen indicated his real difficulty was with the bank and receivers, Mr Dunleavy indicated that, if the case was withdrawn against Arthur Cox, partners, and solicitors, there may be no costs implications for Mr Cullen arising from his having included those parties as defendants.


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