Second case concerning Dolphin Capital fails to enter fast-track court list
Posted on 27th February 2023 at 22:09
Company set up as vehicle for investment in the development and renovation of listed buildings in Germany
A second set of High Court proceedings concerning losses suffered by some 600 small investors in the Dolphin Capital investment scheme will not be dealt with in the fast-track Commercial Court.
Mr Justice Denis McDonald, who heads the commercial division of the High Court, refused the application to admit a second case brought by the liquidator of Dolphin MUT 103, a firm through which small investors’ funds were channelled as part of the German Property Group, formerly Dolphin Capital and Dolphin Trust.
Dolphin was set up as a vehicle for investment in the development and renovation of listed buildings in Germany but eventually collapsed leaving millions in deficits for the investors.
Last week, a case brought by the liquidators of another linked firm, Dolphin MUT 116, was admitted to the commercial list by Mr Justice McDonald.
The MUT 116 firm was the investment vehicle for large pension investors while the MUT 103 company dealt with small individual pension investors. Both were registered in Ireland.
Myles Kirby, liquidator of MUT 103, brought proceedings last April against firms that administered the fund and a number of individuals linked to those firms.
Following the initiation of the MUT 116 proceedings, an early application was made to admit them to the Commercial Court last week.
On Monday, Bernard Dunleavy SC, for the MUT 103 liquidator, asked that his case also be transferred into the fast-track list for reasons of similarity between both cases, efficient use of resources, and saving of court time.
Mr Dunleavy said there was going to be a shortfall of some €30 million for the investors and the allegation is that that money “effectively went into a Ponzi scheme”.
However, after hearing objections from nearly all the defendants in the MUT 103 proceedings, Mr Justice McDonald refused an application to have the MUT 103 case also admitted to the commercial list.
The judge was not satisfied that the delay in seeking admission of the case to the commercial list had been sufficiently explained. He refused to admit the case, so it will now continue through the normal High Court list.
However, the judge said that if it is deemed necessary later, depending on which case goes ahead first, that the same judge should hear both cases, then an order can be made to that effect.
The MUT 103′s case is against Wealth Options Trustees Ltd (WOTL), Wealth Options Capital Ltd (WOC), RE Administration Ltd (in liquidation) and a number of directors of those companies.
The MUT 116 case is against WOTL, WOC and three directors of the companies.
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