by Jeremy Erwin , Michael Kelly July-28-2021 in Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Insolvency & Restructuring

The Court of Appeal recently delivered a helpful decision in which it confirmed that the rules for appointment of an equitable receiver over EU agricultural payments are those set out by the Court of Appeal and confirmed by the Supreme Court in ACC Loan Management Limited v Rickard [2017] IESC 29. Our previous article on the Rickard case is here.

In AIB Mortgage Bank and Everyday Finance DAC v Sheehan, the Bank obtained judgment for €2,600,000 against Mr Sheehan. The Bank sought to recover some of the debt by the appointment of a receiver by way of equitable execution over Mr Sheehan’s entitlements under the EU Basic Payment Scheme  “BPS”. At the hearing before the High Court, the Court applied the Rickard principles and appointed a receiver over Mr Sheehan’s entitlements under the BPS.

Mr Sheehan appealed that decision to the Court of Appeal. In the appeal, Mr Sheehan sought amongst other things to rely on  the fact that he had leased the lands to a company which he partly owned and controlled, and therefore it was that company which was in fact entitled to the BPS. 

In dismissing the appeal, the Court applied the Rickard principles and found that in 2017, long after the land was leased to the company, Mr Sheehan applied for the BPS in his personal capacity. The Court noted that the Department of Agriculture took the view that it was Mr Sheehan who was entitled to the BPS. 

The Court found that it was open to the High Court to appoint a receiver by way of equitable execution over BPS payments where it is just and convenient to do so. In order to resist the appointment, the onus lies on a judgment debtor to establish, by reference to evidence, that it would not be just or convenient to appoint a receiver. 

The Court further held that it should not decline to appoint a receiver by way of equitable execution over the BPS in order to allow Mr Sheehan to fulfil his contractual obligations, such as under the lease, or to avoid unsubstantiated prejudice to third parties, such as to his company.

The link to the judgment of the Court of Appeal is here.

Hayes solicitors has significant experience in all aspects of the enforcement of judgments. Should you have any queries in relation to the appointment of receivers by equitable execution or enforcement generally please contact Jeremy Erwin or Michael Kelly


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