FitzPatrick faces court probe on office block

Former Anglo chairman Sean FitzPatrick is to face an examination in the High Court about the ownership of one of London’s biggest and highest office blocks.

The cross-examination regarding the ownership of Woolgate Exchange is not likely to take place untilOctober.

Yesterday, Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne in the bankruptcy court set Oct 8 next as a date for the mention of the case with a view to setting a hearing date for examination.

Counsel for Mr FitzPatrick, Bernard Dunleavy SC, told the court there was no suggestion that Mr FitzPatrick has not co-operated. Counsel said there was a concern about discovery, but a more focused discovery of documents was now being sought. He said the examination should take about two hours.

In the examination, Mr FitzPatrick will be quizzed about the financing of the Woolgate property and the extent of his ownership of the London office block.

In Jul 2010, the High Court officially declared Mr FitzPatrick bankrupt after being informed he was “bowing to the inevitable”, having failed to get sufficient support from his creditors for a private settlement scheme to pay off his debts.

The former Anglo chairman, from Greystones, Co Wicklow, is estimated to have debts of €150m compared to assets of €47m.

In the same court yesterday, Ms Justice Dunne set Jul 26 to hear bankruptcy proceedings against developer Thomas McFeely.

Mr McFeely, whose Coalport company built the now-evacuated Priory Hall apartments in Dublin, claims his main centre of business activity is Britain, where the bankruptcy laws are more lenient than here.

Last month, a London court rescinded an order declaring Mr McFeely bankrupt in Britain after it was discovered he failed to disclose the Irish bankruptcy proceedings when he filed papers there. The London High Court, ordered the bankruptcy proceedings be re-heard in light of this.

Ms Justice Dunne will on Jul 26 first deal with the issue of whether Ireland or Britain is Mr McFeely’s centre of main interest before the petition for bankruptcy can proceed.

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