HomeCommercial Litigation & Dispute ResolutionCourt challenge to refusal by IRBC to recognise £113m judgment

Court challenge to refusal by IRBC to recognise £113m judgment

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British businessman had obtained judgment over sale of 100-room mansion in UK

A British businessman has challenged Irish Bank Resolution Corporation’s refusal to recognise a judgment for £113 million (€128 million) obtained by him against it over the sale of a 100-room mansion in the UK.

Baljit Singh Bhandal, also known as Barry Bhandal, says he was once the beneficial owner of Updown Court in Windlesham, Surrey and borrowed some £14 million from Irish Nationwide Building Society in 2000 to redevelop it. Following an investigation into alleged money laundering, a restraint order was placed in 2001 over his assets by British Customs (HMRC) officials and the house was sold by an INBS appointed receiver for £14 million in 2002.

The restraint order was lifted in 2006 and Mr Bhandal was never charged with any offence in regard to the alleged money laundering. He sued IBRC, as INBS’s successor in title, for damage arising out of the alleged sale of Updown Manor at an undervalue.

He claims it is worth £80 million. He got a judgment against IBRC in 2013 for £113 million. IBRC, in special liquidation, had opted not to contest the matter because, at the time, it did not expect there would be any money to pay a dividend to unsecured creditors and did not want to incur further costs. Mr Bhandal later obtained a European Enforcement Order and submitted his claim in IBRC’s special liquidation. The special liquidators informed Mr Bhandal in 2017 they were not bound by his claim as, they alleged, it was not true and bona fide. Mr Bhandal then initiated proceedings in the Irish High Court against IBRC.

Opening the case before Mr Justice Tony O’Connor on Tuesday, Aidan Redmond SC, with Dave Whelan, instructed by Lavelle Partners , said his client successfully worked for many years in the alcohol and off-licence business.

Read this article in full, written by Aodhan O’Faolain for the IrishTimes