Quinns seek to ensure IBRC dispute does not delay action

Niall McPartland, right, - husband of Aoife Quinn and, background, Sean Quinn Jr, son of former billionaire, Sean Quinn, pictured leaving the Four Courts yesterday.

The Quinn family are concerned to ensure a dispute over the method of analysing 700,000 documents for Irish Bank Resolution Corporation’s action against members of the family does not delay their own action against the bank aimed at avoiding liability for some €2.34bn loans, the Commercial Court has heard.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly yesterday fixed for hearing in October the application by IBRC for court sanction for analysis of the documents via Technology Assisted Review (TAR), a new form of analysis never before used in the Irish courts, rather than manual analysis.

Karyn Harty, solicitor for IBRC, said in an affidavit the TAR process is “very efficient and very accurate” and involved a computer ‘learning’ what document is, or is not, relevant from expert practitioners who code batches of randomly selected documents for relevance at the outset of the review. The computer ultimately builds a prediction model where it can predict what a human reviewer would consider relevant by giving a document a relevance score of between one to 100, she said.

IBRC claims the TAR method will more speedily work through the documents, but the Quinns and two related Middle Eastern firms being sued with various Quinn family members over allegedly conspiring to place substantial assets beyond the bank’s reach, expressed concerns about the proposal.

When the matter came before Mr Justice Kelly yesterday he was told the number of documents at issue had been reduced from some 1.6 million to about 700,000 because a large number were not amenable to the TAR method due to being in foreign languages including Russian or were electronic copies of handwritten documents.

Jarlath Ryan BL, for Senat FZC and Senat Legal Consultancy FZ LLC, said they want their own expert to analyse the TAR system and were opposed to the proposal.

Charlotte Simpson BL, for the Quinns, said they also had concerns about the TAR method but were not proposing to get expert testimony on the issue and would instead file affidavits.

The documents at issue have been identified by IBRC as potentially relevant to its action alleging various members of the Quinn family conspired with the Senat defendants and others to put mult-million assets in the Quinn’s international property group beyond its reach.

The case was initiated in 2011 and the bank has secured orders appointing receivers over their accounts and assets. A hearing date has yet to be fixed.


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