herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Books and stationary group Eason, which is disputing rent arrears claims for its LiffeyValley store, has asked the Circuit Civil Court to stay legal proceedings pending a decision on whether or not the matter should go to arbitration.

Books and stationary group Eason, which is disputing rent arrears claims for its LiffeyValley store, has asked the Circuit Civil Court to stay legal proceedings pending a decision on whether or not the matter should go to arbitration.

Paul McGarry SC, who appeared with David Dodd, for Eason & Son, told Judge Jacqueline Linnane that the lease agreement included a clause which meant any dispute should go to arbitration.

He said he and Mr Michael Howard, SC, counsel for the landlord Liffey Valley Limited and LV Property Phase 1 Limited would be submitting detailed written legal submissions which could be gone into on a new date.

Mr Howard, who appeared with barrister Michael Vallely, said the landlord would be opposing Eason's application to have the matter dealt with at arbitration.

The court had heard earlier that Eason, which pays a rent in the region of €1m a year, owes its landlord €423,000 in rent arrears.

Mr Howard told the court that Eason and Son had effectively given themselves a rent reduction last year by withholding 30pc of the €235,000 rent due for the quarter commencing April 1 2014.

The company had continued to withhold 25 per cent of the rent for the last two quarters of 2014 and had paid no rent for the first quarter of 2015 which commenced on January 1 last.

The proceedings before the Circuit Civil Court relate only to a single quarterly cut of rent by Eason of €70,500 which, if a judicial decision went against the company, would have a knock-on effect regarding other outstanding rental arrears.

Brennan and Co, solicitors for the landlords, have disputed claims that there had been a refusal by representatives of Liffey Valley Limited and LV Property to engage with Easons in respect of complaints raised by the bookseller last year.

Eason, in stating in May last year that it had reduced its quarterly rent by €70,500, had outlined a number of grievances which the company alleged could be summarised as poor estate management by the landlords.

The landlords have denied allegations of shortcomings in their running of the Liffey Valley shopping centre.

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