Over 270 High Court cases over investor losses from the collapsed UK property investment ‘Belfry Funds’ have been settled.
The settlement of all the cases, which is confidential, was announced before the High Court on Thursday morning.
The lead case in the actions, brought by 83-year-old investor Bernadette Goodwin came before the court late last month, but was adjourned to allow for out of court settlement talks take place.
When the matter returned before Mr Justice Brian O’Moore, John O Donnell SC for Ms Goodwin told the court that the time afforded to the parties had been put to productive use.
Counsel said Ms Goodwin’s and all the other cases had been resolved on confidential terms.
As part of the settlement, counsel said the court could make certain orders, including that all of the actions be struck out, with liberty to apply, and that all other cost orders made in previous related hearings be vacated.
Counsel added that, on consent, the allegations of fraudulent concealment made against the defendants were being withdrawn.
Belfry Properties group
The cases concerned investments of between €100,000 and €400,000 in the Belfry Funds which the investors allege were promoted between 2002-2006 by AIB and four directors of various companies in the Belfry Properties group.
They included property investor Tony Kilduff, and a former head of AIB private banking, John Rockett.
Following the collapse of the funds, the investors initiated claims in August 2014 seeking damages on grounds including alleged negligence in the operation of the funds. The defendants had denied the claims.
Mr Justice O’Moore praised the parties and their advisors for their “extraordinary work” over the last few days that resulted in all the cases being settled.
The matters, he said, had been “hanging around the courts for so long”.
Had the cases proceeded, the hearing would have lasted until Halloween and it would be unlikely that a judgement, which would have been open to appeal, would have been available until 2022.