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Discovery ordered in proceedings concerning loans given to buy shares in Anglo Irish Bank

By: James Cross BL

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High Court, in proceedings concerning loans given to buy shares in Anglo Irish Bank, orders the bank to make discovery of categories of documents which are relevant and necessary to the proceedings, and refuses to order discovery of documents which are not relevant and necessary.

Discovery – liquidation - defendant agreed to purchase 10,200,000 ordinary shares in the plaintiff, which was then known as Anglo Irish Bank Corporation Plc - plaintiff offered to advance a loan to the defendant for the purpose of buying these shares – Maple 10 - defendant alleges that the purpose of this transaction was to manipulate the plaintiff’s share price on the stock market to prevent it decreasing in value in response to what the defendant claims was an existential threat - total outstanding on foot of the loan agreement was a sum in excess of €46 million and the defendants’ liability on foot of the facility letter, being 25%, stands at slightly in excess of €11.5 million - second facility letter - new repayment date - pleads that the second facility letter was not supported by any valid consideration and is accordingly not binding on the plaintiff - defendant for his part pleads that the second facility is in fact binding and supersedes the first facility letter - liability under the facility is confined to the lesser of 25% of the balance or the value of the shares at expiry of the facility - defendant says that as the shares had a zero value on expiry, he has no liability – counterclaim - contract between the plaintiff and the defendant was subject to the terms of the Code of Conduct for the Investment Business Services of Credit Institutions - pleads that the share purchase scheme was unlawful and improper - motive for the transaction was dishonest and unlawful and the plaintiff falsely represented to the defendant that the transaction was suitable for him - request for voluntary discovery - twelve categories of documents – some refused – others agreed in modified form – motion for 10 categories - for the party seeking discovery to establish that the documents sought are both relevant and necessary - not sufficient that a matter is simply mentioned in pleadings entitle a party to discovery of documents that relate to that matter - must be a matter “in question” or a matter in respect of which there is a dispute, the resolution of which is necessary to determine the case – necessity – relevance – discovery ordered of some categories and refused in relation to other categories -

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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