Judge agrees to cease his involvement in clinic case
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.