Judge agrees to cease his in­volve­ment in clinic case

Irish Examiner - - Business - Ann O’Lough­lin

A High Court judge who crit­i­cised the con­duct of Brec­cia, a com­pany linked to busi­ness­man Larry Good­man, in the marathon lit­i­ga­tion over con­trol of Dublin’s Black­rock Clinic has agreed to cease his in­volve­ment in the case.

Brec­cia had for­mally ap­plied to Mr Jus­tice Robert Haughton to re­cuse him­self from fur­ther deal­ing with the lit­i­ga­tion aris­ing from cer­tain com­ments made by him in a judg­ment last Novem­ber, in­clud­ing stat­ing Brec­cia dis­played a “lack of can­dour” in seek­ing in­junc­tions against Dr Joseph Shee­han con­cern­ing his share­hold­ing in Black­rock Hos­pi­tal Ltd (BHL).

BHL owns the share cap­i­tal of Black­rock Clinic Ltd, co-founded in 1986 by Dr Shee­han with his fel­low sur­geons James Shee­han and Mau­rice Nel­li­gan, and Dr Ge­orge Duffy.

The share­hold­ings of Dr Joseph Shee­han and of busi­ness­man John Flynn and his com­pany Ben­ray are at the cen­tre of lit­i­ga­tion in­volv­ing them and Brec­cia.

At the Com­mer­cial Court yes­ter­day, Mr Jus­tice Brian McGovern was told Mr Jus­tice Haughton had said he would no longer deal with the lit­i­ga­tion.

Mr Jus­tice McGovern noted another High Court judge, Mr Jus­tice David Bar­niville, could not be as­signed as he had dealt with a me­di­a­tion in­volv­ing some of the par­ties, while Mr Jus­tice McGovern him­self knew Dr Duffy.

Af­ter di­rect­ing the lit­i­ga­tion will now be case man­aged by Mr Jus­tice Michael Twomey, the mak­ing of fur­ther di­rec­tions was ad­journed for three weeks.

Mr Flynn and Ben­ray have brought an ap­pli­ca­tion to es­tab­lish who owns and con­trols Brec­cia. They claim there has been a change of con­trol in breach of re­stric­tions on share trans­fers set out in a 2006 share­hold­ers agree­ment con­cern­ing BHL.

They claim they have made sev­eral re­quests for the iden­tity of the ul­ti­mate ben­e­fi­cia­ries of var­i­ous trusts which, they claim, through the Rabena Foun­da­tion in Liecht­en­stein, own and con­trol Brec­cia.

In his judg­ment, Mr Jus­tice Haughton re­fused Brec­cia’s ap­pli­ca­tion to lift in­junc­tions which pre­vent Brec­cia call­ing in Dr Shee­han’s loans be­fore a full hear­ing of his case.

The judge said Brec­cia had not come to court “with clean hands”, there was “a lack of can­dour” and Brec­cia’s real tar­get was ac­qui­si­tion of Dr Shee­han’s shares fol­low­ing on re­ceiver­ship.

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