Harley Medical Group (Ireland) Limited is a company registered in the British Virgin Islands.
About a month ago, we were notified by McCann Fitzgerald, solicitors for the Harley Medical Group (Ireland) Limited of their client’s application to the High Court in Dublin seeking to wind up the company.
As solicitors representing women suffering as a result of having been supplied with faulty PIP breast implants by the Harley Medical Group, we were made notice parties to that application at the direction of Judge Laffoy in March.
Today and last week we were the only solicitors for PIP recipients who turned up to represent their clients in the hearing of this application.
Our counsel argued that the Centre of Main Interests (called the COMI) of the company was not in Ireland and was probably in the UK. He also argued that the Harley British Virgin Islands company had failed to take account of the EU’s Insolvency Regulation in applying for a winding up in Ireland.
He cited, as evidence of our contention that the real COMI was the UK, the fact that the Harley Medical Group used the year of establishment of the UK company on its brass plaque at its Dublin office, that the contracts with its patients cited the UK company as the contracting party and that the UK website cited Dublin as just one of 19 clinics, with all the rest being in the UK.
This is significant because, if we are successful in our argument, Harley’s application to be wound up in Ireland will be declined and, logically, the Harley company should seek to be wound up in the UK instead. That would be of benefit to PIP victims, because the UK has laws allowing injured parties to directly sue the insurance companies of liquidated companies for compensation.
At the end of our submissions, counsel for Harley Medical Group (Ireland) Ltd made some short points in response, acknowledging he was answering a tightly argued legal case.
The Judge reserved judgment, which is expected within the next two weeks.