Bula Holdings and Others v Roche and Others

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeMr. Justice John Edwards
Judgment Date06 May 2008
Neutral Citation[2008] IEHC 208
Judgment citation (vLex)[2008] 5 JIC 0604
CourtHigh Court
Date06 May 2008

[2008] IEHC 208

THE HIGH COURT

COMMERCIAL

[No. 192 P/2007]
[No. 78 COM/2007]
Bula Holdings & Ors v Roche & Ors

BETWEEN

BULA HOLDINGS, BULA TRUST, LOIRE INVESTMENTS, BULA LIMITED, MICHAEL J WYMES, MICHAEL T WYMES AND RICHARD F WOOD
PLAINTIFFS

AND

THOMAS J ROCHE, CRINDLE INVESTMENTS, THOMAS J ROCHE AND FRANCIS PLUNKETT DILLON
DEFENDANTS

RSC O.19 r28

RSC O.19 r27

RSC O.19 r5

COMPANIES ACT 1963 S205

CRINDLE INVESTMENTS v WYMES 1998 4 IR 567

AER RIANTA CPT v RYANAIR LTD 2004 1 IR 506 2004/1/158

ADAM & ORS v MIN JUSTICE & ORS 2001 2 ILRM 452

O'SIODHACAHAIN v O'MAHONEY UNREP SUPREME 7.12.2001 2001/20/54327

FAY v TEGRAL PIPES LTD 2005 2 IR 261

KILCOYNE v WESTPORT TEXTILES LTD (IN VOLUNTARY LIQUIDATION) & ROYAL & SUN ALLIANCE PLC UNREP FINNEGAN 26.7.2006 2006/32/6865

BARRY v BUCKLEY 1981 IR 306

WYLIE JUDICATURE ACTS 1906ED 34 - 37

SUN FAT CHAN v OSSEOUS LTD 1992 1 IR 425

FLANAGAN v KELLY UNREP O'SULLIVAN 26.02.1999 1999/11/2871

SUPERMACS IRL LTD v KATESAN (NAAS) LTD 2000 4 IR 273

JODIFERN LTD v FITZGERALD 2000 3 IR 321

LYNCH v ENGLISH, O'FLYNN & ANOR UNREP KELLY 18.6.2003 2003/32/7681

TESSIN DIN v BANCO AMBROSIMO 1991 1 IR 569

LANDERS v GARDA SIOCHANA COMPLAINTS BOARD 1997 3 IR 347

RIORDAN v IRELAND (NO 5) 2001 4 IR 463

RIORDAN v GOVERNMENT OF IRELAND & ORS UNREP SMYTH 6.10.2006 2006/50/10644 2006 IEHC 312

DYKUN v ODISHAW 2000 267 AR 318 QB

LANG MICHENER & FABIAN, RE 1987 37 DLR (4th) 685

MCCABE v MIN FOR JUSTICE & SMITH & COMPANY (AGENTS OF MCCABE, WARD OF COURT) UNREP MURPHY 29.6.2006 2006/35/7390

DUBLIN CORPORATION v BUILDING & ALLIED TRADE UNION 1996 1 IR 468 1996 2 ILRM 547

P (L) v P (M) 2002 1 IR 219 2001/20/5450

BULA LTD (IN RECEIVERSHIP) & ORS v CROWLEY & ORS UNREP MURPHY 10.6.2005 2005/6/1209 2005 IEHC 212

CONSTITUTION ART 34

BOSWELL v COAKES 1894 6 R 167

AMPTHILL PEERAGE 1977 AC 547

ST ALBANS INVESTMENT CO & SUN ALLIANCE v LONDON INSURANCE & PROVINCIAL INSURANCE CO LTD UNREP MURPHY 27.6.1990

WAITE v HOUSE OF SPRING GARDENS LTD & ORS UNREP BARRINGTON 26.6.1985 1985/6/1592

RSC O.19 r5(2)

KENNY v UNIVERSITY OF DUBLIN & TRINITY COLLEGE & ANOR UNREP SUPREME 20.6.2003 2003/29/6870

GALVIN v GRAHAM TWOMEY 1994 2 ILRM 315

SEAN QUINN GROUP LTD v BORD PLEANALA & ORS 2001 1 IR 505 2001 2 ILRM 94 2000/16/6056

GOLDSMITH v SPERRINGS 1977 1 WLR 498

LONRHO PLC v FAYED (NO 5) 1993 1 WLR 1489

KEANEY v SULLIVAN UNREP FINLAY GEOGHEGAN 16.1.2007 2007 IEHC 8

BULLEN & LEAKE PRECEDENTS & PLEADINGS 12ED 1975

DELANY & MCGRATH CIVIL PROCEDURE IN THE SUPERIOR COURTS 2ED 2005 PARA 5.74

DELANY & MCGRATH CIVIL PROCEDURE IN THE SUPERIOR COURTS 2ED 2005 PARA 5.75

BYRNE v RADIO TELEFIS EIREANN (RTE) 2006 2 ILRM 375 2006/9/1637 2006 IEHC 71

COONEY v BROWNE 1985 IR 185 1985 ILRM 673

RULES OF THE SUPERIOR COURTS (NO 2) (DISCOVERY) 1999 SI 233/1999

RSC O.31 r12

RSC O.19 r3

RSC O.19 r21

MOFFITT v AGRICULTURAL CREDIT CORPORATION PLC UNREP CLARKE 27.7.2007 2007 IEHC 245

LAWLOR v ROSS & MENOLLY HOMES LTD & ANOR UNREP SUPREME 22.11.2001 2001/14/3826 2001 IESC 110

POPLE v EVANS 1969 2 CH 255

DALTON & ORS v FLYNN UNREP LAFFOY 20.5.2004 2004/12/2704

HENDERSON v HENDERSON 1843 3 HARE 100

ROYAL BANK OF IRELAND v O'ROURKE 1962 IR 159 96 ILTR 112

A (A) v MEDICAL COUNCIL & AG 2003 4 IR 302 2004 1 ILRM 372

SUPERWOOD HOLDINGS LTD v SUN ALLIANCE & LONDON INSURANCE PLC 1995 3 IR 303

CRIMINAL JUSTICE (THEFT & FRAUD OFFENCES) ACT 2001 S7

CRIMINAL JUSTICE (THEFT & FRAUD OFFENCES) ACT 2001 S7(2)

EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS & FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS

LAC MINERALS v CHEVRON CORPORATION UNREP KEANE 6.8.1993 1993/12/3862

PRICE & ANOR v KEENAGHAN DEVELOPMENTS LTD UNREP CLARK 1.5.2007 2007 IEHC 190

BELTON v CARLOW COUNTY COUNCIL SUPREME COURT 1997 1 IR 172 1997 2 ILRM 405

P v P 2002 1 IR 219 2001/20/5450

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

Strike out proceedings

Commercial case seeking to have judgment and costs orders in s. 205 proceedings set aside - Claim that court misled regarding beneficial ownership of particular shares - Allegations of misrepresentations and false evidence - Application for dismissal of claim - Whether no reasonable cause of action - Whether action frivolous or vexatious - Whether no reasonable prospect of success - Whether abuse of process - Application for striking out of statement of claim - Whether statement of claim contained unnecessary or scandalous matters - Whether allegations of fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, conspiracy and breach of fiduciary duty made without being particularised - Attempt to delay - Attempt to re-litigate - Jurisdiction of court - Inherent jurisdiction - Res judicata - Impugning judgment obtained by fraud - Conflict of fact - Right of access to courts - Benefit of doubt - Whether case could be sustained if viewed at high watermark - Absence of evidence - Whether knowledge of beneficial ownership of shares would have affected outcome of proceedings - Crindle Investments v Bula Holdings (Unrep, Murphy J, 2/3/1993); Crindles Investments v Wymes [1998] 4 IR 567; Aer Rianta v Ryanair [2004] 1 IR 506; Adams v Minister for Justice [2001] 2 ILRM 452; O'Siodhachain v O'Mahony (Unrep, SC, 7/12/2001); Fay v Tegral Pipes Ltd [2005] 2 IR 261; Kilcoyne v Westport Textiles (Unrep, Finnegan P, 26/7/2006); Barry v Buckley [1981] IR 306; Sun Fat Chan v Osseous Limited [1992] 1 IR 425; Flanagan v Kelly (Unrep, O'Sullivan J, 26/2/1999); Supermacs Ireland v Katesan (Naas) Limited [2000] 4 IR 273; Jodifern v Fitzgerald [2000] 3 IR 321; Lynch v O'Flynn (Unrep, Kelly J, 18/6/2003); Tassan Din v Banco Ambrosiano [1991] 1 IR 569; Landers v Garda Siochana Complaints Board [1997] 3 IR 347; Riordan v Ireland [2001] 4 IR 463; Riordan v Hamilton (Unrep, SC, 9/10/2002); Riordan v Government of Ireland (Unrep, Smyth J, 6/10/2006); Dykun v Odishaw (Unrep, Alberta Court, 3/8/2000); Re Lang Michener and Fabian (1987) 37 DLR (4th) 685; McCabe v Minister for Justice (Unrep, Murphy J, 29/6/2006); McSorley v O'Mahony (Unrep, Costello J, 6/11/1996); Cahill v Sutton [1980] IR 269; Dublin Corporation v Building and Allied Trade Union [1996] 1 IR 468; Lynch v O'Flynn (Unrep, Kelly J, 18/6/2003); Bula v Crowley (Unrep, Murphy J, 10/6/2005); Boswell v Coakes (1894) 6 R 167; Ampthill Peerage Case [1977] AC 547; Janesco v Beard [1930] AC 298; St Albans Investment Co v London Insurance Co Ltd (Unrep, Murphy J, 27/6/1990); P(L) v P(M) (Unrep, SC, 19/7/2007); Belville Holdings Ltd v Revenue Commissioners [1994] ILRM 29; Re Greendale Developments Ltd (No 3) [2000] 2 IR 514; Waite v House of Spring Gardens Ltd (Unrep, Barrington J, 6/6/1985); Kenny v Trinity College Dublin (Unrep, SC, 20/6/2003); P(L) v P(L) [2002] 1 IR 219; Quinn Group Ltd v An Bord Pleanala [2001] 1 IR 505; Goldsmith v Sperrings Ltd [1977] 1 DPP 478; Lonrho Plc v Fayed (No 5) [1993] 1 DPP 1489; Keaney v Sullivan (Unrep, Finlay Geoghegan J, 16/1/2007); Byrne v RTE (Unrep, MacMenamin J, 3/3/2006); Cooney v Browne [1985] IR 185; Moffit v Agricultural Credit Corporation [2007] IEHC 245; Superwood Holdings Plc v Sun Alliance [1995] 3 IR 303; Kilcoyne v Westport Textiles (Unrep, Finnegan P, 26/7/2006); Lawlor v Ross [2001] IESC 110; Lac Minerals v Chevron Corporation (Unrp, Kean J, 6/8/1993); Price v Keenaghan Developments Ltd [2007] IEHC 190 and Belton v Carlow Co Council [1997] 2 ILRM 405 considered - Companies Act 1963 (No 33), s 205 - Rules of the Superior Courts 1986 (SI 15/1986), O 19, 52, 58, 99 and 121 - Proceedings dismissed (2007/192P - Edwards J - 6/5/2008) [2008] IEHC 208

Bula Holdings Ltd v Roche

Facts: The defendants were engaged in long running litigation with the plaintiffs, at the same time as the plaintiffs were in litigation with banks over outstanding loans. Having considered the particulars of claim in this matter, the defendants applied to the High Court to have the claims struck out on a number of grounds including, inter alia, that the claims were frivolous or vexatious in nature.

Held by John Edwards J, that the claims would be struck out. Having considered the submissions of the parties, the Court accepted the law was correctly detailed in the submissions of the defendants. The Court was satisfied that the pleadings were without reasonable prospect of success given the lack of supporting evidence, and further were a deliberate attempt to reopen previously concluded proceedings and to stall the enforcement of costs from other proceedings.

1

Mr. Justice John Edwards delivered on the 6th day of May, 2008

INTRODUCTION
2

1. This is my judgment in respect of a motion brought by the defendants in the above entitled proceedings by a notice of motion dated 11 th July, 2007 seeking the following reliefs:-

3

a "(a) An order pursuant to Order 19 Rule 28 of the Rules of the Superior Courts striking out or dismissing the plaintiffs' claims on the grounds that the Statement of Claim delivered herein discloses no reasonable cause of action and/or is shown by the pleadings to be frivolous and/or vexatious;

4

(b) Further or in the alternative, an order pursuant to the inherent jurisdiction of the Court dismissing or, alternatively, striking out the plaintiffs' claims against the defendants on the grounds that the proceedings have no reasonable prospects of success, are bound to fail and are an abuse of the process of the Court;

5

(c) Further or in the alternative, an order pursuant to Order 19 Rule 27 of the Rules of the Superior Courts striking out the Statement of Claim in entirety on the grounds that it contains matters which are unnecessary and/or scandalous and which may tend to prejudice, embarrass or delay the fair trial of the action;

6

(d) Further or in the alternative, an order pursuant to the inherent jurisdiction of the Court dismissing the plaintiffs' claims against the defendants on the grounds that the Statement of Claim...

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