News & Updates

Solicitor registered clients' property in his own name

Date Posted: 15.02.2012

The Irish Times - Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A WOMAN and her daughter have secured High Court orders on consent against former solicitor Thomas Byrne after he allegedly registered himself as the owner of a property that they had instructed him, as their solicitor, to transfer to a relative.

Kathleen Mallon and her daughter Vera Madden brought proceedings against Mr Byrne over a portion of the property known as The Grotto, Tandy’s Lane, Lucan, Co Dublin.

The Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, formerly Anglo Irish Bank, was a notice party to the case in circumstances where it was alleged Mr Byrne had taken out a mortgage on the property with that bank.

Gerald Bloom, for the plaintiffs, said yesterday they had instructed Mr Byrne in 2004 to act for them in transferring the property to a relative but, unknown to them, Mr Byrne fraudulently registered himself as the owner and secured a mortgage on it. Mr Bloom said Mr Byrne had in a letter consented to judgment against him in default of appearance.

Mr Justice Roderick Murphy granted the orders and declarations sought, including an injunction restraining Mr Byrne from dealing with the property and a declaration that the transfer from the plaintiffs to him was null and void and/or voidable in fraud. Other orders required delivery of the title documents and removing Mr Byrne’s name as owner.

The plaintiffs claimed they instructed Mr Byrne, who had practised as Thomas Byrne Co, Walkinstown Road, to act for them in 2004 in connection with a verbal agreement for the transfer of a part of The Grotto property to a relative.

In 2008, they claimed their then solicitor Michael Hinkson, after carrying out Land Registry searches, found Mr Byrne had applied in May 2006 to have the property transferred into his name.

In doing so, Mr Byrne submitted false family home declarations in the names of the plaintiffs and also submitted a false deed of transfer of the property from them to him, it was alleged.

In September 2006, he also allowed a mortgage, entered into by him with Anglo, to be registered in his favour on the property, it was claimed.

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