Builder and solicitor can take on the case of loss of property, High Court rules

A solicitor and a builder, who have both invested pension money in a property fund, can go ahead with their claim that they mis-sold the product, the High Court ruled.

Hilip O’Sullivan, a Tralee, Co. Kerry attorney, and Liam Sugrue, along with his construction company Farnes Construction, are separately suing Canada Life (Ireland), Irish Life Assurance PLC, Oregan Financial Ltd and PSC Wealth Plus Ltd, trading as PSC Wealth plus. Farnes has been dissolved since the beginning of the proceedings.

Ms. Judge Siobhán Phelan denied a motion by the Oregan and PSC defendants to dismiss the case for delay and lack of prosecution.

Both men claim they suffered losses because they were advised to invest in the same real estate fund in 2005 and 2006.

They claimed that they had not been informed of the existence of a lending obligation on bank loans to secure the investments.

The agreement meant that if the value of the investment property fell below 80 percent of the original value or below the amount borrowed, the bank would be entitled to take control of the property and sell it to reduce its debt.

The claims are disputed and a full defense has been filed.

Mr O’Sullivan invested €363,294 in 2005 of which approximately €311,000 was from his Law Society of Ireland pension fund.

He says that by having the loan-to-value agreement in place on a loan on one of the properties in the fund and then selling that property, he lost the opportunity to participate in the realization of the property in the market.

Mr. Sugrue says his retirement savings and accrued benefits of €57,120 were invested in the property fund in 2005 and 2006.

The case began in 2014, and Oregan and PSC defendants filed motions to dismiss the court in 2020, alleging, among other things, that the delay in prosecuting the case was grossly unfair to them.

Ms Justice Phelan said although there had been an excessive delay it was excusable. Builder and solicitor can take on the case of loss of property, High Court rules

Fry Electronics Team

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