Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Investors in battle with insurers for £6m award

Irish investors in a failed property development in India have vowed to continue their fight against the insurers of a Co Fermanagh solicitor who was found liable for their multi-million pound losses.

Seymour Major of Dernawilt Road in Ballagh was the solicitor for Kuvera (Ireland) Ltd, a Dublin firm which promoted apartments in India.

He has now been declared bankrupt after bringing a debtor’s petition — but a solicitor for the action group of investors has said they will chase the insurance companies who provided his professional indemnity insurance.

Solicitor Anthony Joyce said: “We are concentrating on continuing on with the case against the insurance companies because we believe that they should be indemnifying him in this case.”

The Kuvera Action Group will now defend proceedings brought by the insurance companies seeking a declaration that they don’t have to indemnify Mr Major.

Almost 300 investors brought a case against Kuvera in 2009, claiming there was no evidence of any proper work taking place on the proposed developments.

Last year the Dublin High Court ruled that Mr Major, who traded as Seymour Major Solicitors in Belmore Street in Enniskillen, had a duty of care to over 200 investors and that they could therefore recover €7.7m (£6m) from him.

The investors who lost out claimed that two letters written by Mr Major in 2007 had |effectively induced them to invest.

Mr Major agreed that he wrote the letters in 2007, but denied having a duty of care.

He told the High Court that he had no assets of his own but that if he was declared bankrupt, the investors could move against his insurers.

Mr Major’s profession in the official bankruptcy list was given as “retired solicitor, now costs draftsman”.

He established a company called Lawnumbers in 2009.

While he is still on the Northern Ireland Roll of Solicitors, it’s understood he no longer holds a practising certificate.

He is also a well-known Conservative Party blogger in Northern Ireland.

Last year’s hearing was one of many legal actions brought by investors aiming to recover close to £8m allegedly raised by Kuvera Ltd for the property scheme.

Claims against Kuvera (Ireland) Ltd, Marlborough House, Donnybrook, and its chief executive Kieran Murphy, Cabinteely Way, Cabinteely, Co Dublin, were settled out of court without admission of liability.

Mr Joyce acted for the propery investors who shelled out around €30,000 (£26,287) each for apartments.

He took an action to freeze the Irish assets of Mr Murphy, which resulted in 230 investors settling with the developer.

As part of the settlement they got properties in South Africa and the UK — but are still pursuing Mr Major for €7.7m awarded to them by the High Court in December.

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