Belfast Telegraph

Legal bill for tracking down Quinn assets reaches £14m

By Maeve Sheahan

The legal bill for hunting down the assets of former Co Fermanagh billionaire Sean Quinn has reached €16m (£14m) and is still mounting, it has emerged.

The costs were racked up over six years as the IBRC launched an international search for the Quinn family's €500m (£425m) overseas property portfolio, according to informed sources.

The special liquidator of IBRC has secured all of the overseas assets bar eight sites in Russia and a €60m (£51m) logistical warehouse in India that the Quinns say that they do not own or control.

The costs associated with the Quinns are expected to keep mounting. Lawyers' fees are just one aspect of the massive costs involved in the attempts to recover the Quinn assets.

A Russian asset recovery agency retained by the liquidator to secure the most valuable properties has received €31m (£26m) for its work.

The sale of the Kutuzoff Tower, the Univermag in the Ukraine, and Q Park logistical park in Kazan, were put on hold because of the political unrest in the area.

It emerged earlier this year that a group of businessmen had donated up to €300,000 (£255,000) to cover the Quinns' legal bills. After four years of High Court actions, and an impassioned campaign to restore them to the family business, the Quinns are now maintaining a low profile and waiting for their €4bn (£3.4bn) legal action against the former Anglo Irish Bank to proceed.

Once Ireland's richest family, the Quinns were ousted from their empire by the former Anglo Irish Bank over Sean Quinn's fateful gamble on the bank's share price. Former managers bought back the business from the receivers backed by American investors.

The move was hailed as a victory for Sean Quinn, who rejoined his old company as a consultant. But the relationship soured and he left his €500,000 (£425,000) consultancy post last year.

Quinn Industrial Holdings recently posted a 62% rise in profits in 2016 - to €6.8m (£5.78m).

But Sean Quinn said a "pathway" had been left open for the family to return to the business. There was speculation that his daughters, Colette and Aoife, or nephew Peter Darragh Quinn, would step forward. However, it's understood none of the family have availed of that "pathway".

Peter Darragh Quinn, who lives in Northern Ireland, remains the subject of an outstanding bench warrant for his arrest.

The judge had ruled that he, along with his uncle and cousin Sean Jnr, were in contempt after they put international property beyond the bank's reach. Sean Quinn's daughter, Ciara, has returned to nursing.

Sean Quinn Junior put his luxury apartment in Farmleigh on the market earlier this year.

Belfast Telegraph

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