High Court declines to make discovery order in favour of property developer Garrett Kelleher

The High Court has ruled that developer Garrett Kelleher is not entitled to certain categories of discovery in his action against a Nama company over the alleged leaking and dissemination of his and his business's confidential financial information to third parties.

High Court declines to make discovery order in favour of property developer Garrett Kelleher

The High Court has ruled that developer Garrett Kelleher is not entitled to certain categories of discovery in his action against a Nama company over the alleged leaking and dissemination of his and his business's confidential financial information to third parties.

The application was made as part of Mr Kelleher's damages action against National Asset Loan Management Ltd (NALM) for an alleged breach of confidence and the deliberate, malicious disclosure of confidential information concerning himself and his companies known as the Shelbourne Group.

The claims are denied, and while NALM in its defence accepts there was an unlawful disclosure of information by former Nama employee Enda Farrell, it says it is not liable for his actions.

In order to advance his claim, Mr Kelleher, in a pretrial motion sought a number of categories of documents from NALM, which it refused to furnish.

The categories included documents concerning the disseminating of information relating to Mr Kelleher by Enda Farrell, and information sent to third parties about Mr Kelleher's banking and business affairs.

In 2016, Mr Farrell received a two-year suspended prison sentence for leaking sensitive data to two investment companies.

Farrell, of La Reine, Avenue Louise, Brussels, Belgium and formerly of Dunboyne, Co Meath, pleaded guilty to eight counts of unlawfully disclosing information, in breach of the 2009 Nama Act, between May and July 2012

None of the charges against Farrell related to Mr Kelleher's affairs.

Ruling on the discovery motion Ms Justice Teresa Pilkington declined to make orders compelling NALM to provide Mr Kelleher with the material sought.

Some of the categories of the material sought lacked specificity, the Judge said, while others were too broad and were described by the judge as a "fishing expedition."

The Judge said she was satisfied that certain categories of materials sought, including any information disseminated by Enda Farrell about the developer's banking affairs, were being provided by NALM to Mr Kelleher.

Previously the court heard that the businessman became suspicious that such information he gave to NALM appeared in national newspapers.

He was also made suspicious in 2011 when a bid was made to NALM for a loan he had acquired to build the proposed Chicago Spire by the businessman and now US President Donald J. Trump.

The proposed €1.5bn development by Mr Kelleher's companies, which would have been one of the world's tallest buildings, never proceeded.

Mr Kelleher alleges that confidential material, including a business plan for the Chicago project, was leaked by NALM to persons in the United States and contained a valuation in respect to a loan from Anglo Irish Bank to develop the Chicago Spire project.

That loan was valued in August 2010 as being worth US$19.5m.

Mr Kelleher claims his belief that confidential financial information had been "widely leaked" was heightened when a bid of $20m for the Chicago Spire Project was made by the Trump organisation.

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