Judge makes orders to protect business of man brain-injured after heart attack 

Man’s business, which employs a number of people, appeared to be run as a one-man operation, court told 
A High Court judge has made interim orders aimed at protecting the business and personal finances of a man who suffered a brain injury following a sudden heart attack in recent months. 
 
The orders were sought in the context of an intended inquiry into whether the man, aged in his 50s, divorced, and the sole director of his business, should be made a ward of court based on concerns about his neurological recovery following an out of hospital cardiac arrest. The most recent prognosis is that his brain impairment is irreversible. He has also been affected by a Covid-19 outbreak in the hospital care unit where he is being treated, the court heard. 
 
His case came before Mr Justice Richard Humphreys on when the judge was asked by Proinsias Ó Maolchalain, representing the man’s solicitor for interim orders pending a wardship inquiry. The solicitor had petitioned for wardship last month on foot of medical reports obtained by him arising from his concerns about the man’s capacity when the man failed to recognise him during a hospital visit and appeared disorientated. 
 
On Tuesday, the judge agreed to make interim orders appointing Patricia Hickey, general solicitor for wards of court, as guardian of the fortune of the man, who is understood to have substantial assets. The orders, made under the court’s inherent jurisdiction, permit Ms Hickey to deal with aspects of the affairs of the man’s company, including to have him replaced by another director, and allowing her report to the court on proposals for it into the future. 
 
The judge also made orders permitting Ms Hickey to operate the man’s personal bank account for purposes including continuing his private health insurance and maintenance payments. 
 
An independent medical visitor was appointed to carry out a capacity assessment of the man and a guardian ad litem to represent the man’s interests was also appointed. 
 
The judge further directed the Central Bank be put on notice of the matter. Ms Hickey told the judge she had asked a forensic accountant to make inquiries with the bank dealing with the man’s affairs and she required the orders sought to deal with aspects of its affairs so as to preserve its assets and to ensure the company complies with its obligations. 
 
The business, which employs a number of people, appeared to be run as a one-man operation, she said. One priority was to retain the goodwill the man had built up in the business with a view to either keeping it going or perhaps selling it, she added. 
 
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