Three in talks with Stell­wa­gen over le­gal dis­pute

The Irish Times - Business - - FRONT PAGE - BARRY O’HAL­LO­RAN

Busi­ness­men Howard Mil­lar, Ed­ward Han­som and Ed­ward Cough­lan be­gan talks yes­ter­day with their for­mer em­ployer, air­craft fi­nance group Stell­wa­gen, over a le­gal dis­pute that has blown up be­tween the par­ties.

Stell­wa­gen re­cently got High Court in­terim or­ders bar­ring Mr Mil­lar, its for­mer chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer, and ex­ec­u­tives Mr Han­som and Mr Cough­lan, from dis­clos­ing com­pany in­for­ma­tion to oth­ers and from in­ter­fer­ing in its re­la­tion­ship with clients, in­vestors, staff or com­mer­cial part­ners.

The case was due back be­fore the court yes­ter­day, but the hear­ing did not go ahead as lawyers for the par­ties said that they had be­gun talks early in the af­ter­noon.

Case could re­turn

Those dis­cus­sions were con­tin­u­ing last night. It is un­der­stood the case could re­turn to court this morn­ing. The court is­sued the in­terim or­ders against the three men last month fol­low­ing an ex parte hear­ing, which means that they were not rep­re­sented in court and did not have an op­por­tu­nity to re­ply to Stell­wa­gen’s claims. Mr Mil­lar, who was pre­vi­ously Ryanair’s chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer, Mr Han­som and Mr Cough­lan, all re­signed from Stell­wa­gen on Septem­ber 4th.

Court doc­u­ments show Mr Mil­lar main­tains he was con­struc­tively dis­missed.

The pro­ceed­ings sched­uled to be­gin yes­ter­day would have dealt with whether or not the court would ex­tend the or­ders made against the three men un­til the hear­ing of a full trial of the dis­pute be­tween them and their for­mer em­ployer.

Stell­wa­gen’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, Dou­glas Bren­nan, al­leged in an af­fi­davit that the com­pany dis­cov­ered a “clan­des­tine” and “con­certed” ef­fort by the three men to di­vert valu­able busi­ness away from the com­pany, in di­rect con­flict with their le­gal obli­ga­tions. While they have not had the op­por­tu­nity to re­spond to Stell­wa­gen’s claims in court, Mr Bren­nan’s af­fi­davit in­di­cated that the three had chal­lenged the group’s claims when they were put to them.

Mr Bren­nan founded Stell­wa­gen in Dublin and the US in 2013 to pro­vide fi­nance to air­lines seek­ing to buy new air­craft.

Howard Mil­lar: re­signed from air­craft fi­nance group Stell­wa­gen

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