Former Claridges owner Derek Quinlan files for bankruptcy

Irish financier and former Claridges owner Derek Quinlan has filed for bankruptcy.

Mr Quinlan said an ongoing legal dispute with the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) in Ireland has prevented him from working and means he has been unable to fight a separate legal case.

He has pursued the bankruptcy claim at the High Court in London.

The property investor built up a multibillion-euro portfolio leading Quinlan Private in the 2000s, building stakes in Savoy Hotel Group and investing in a number of other key venues, including Claridges and the Connaught.

He ran into financial difficulties after the 2009 financial crisis, and resigned from Quinlan Private in 2009.

In April 2011, NAMA – a body set up by the Irish Government after its financial crash – appointed a receiver to take charge of a number of Mr Quinlan’s properties after he failed to repay millions of euros in loans.

On Wednesday, Mr Quinlan said NAMA had rejected “every effort” to settle over the following years.

“We have been unable to reach an agreement, even though I have repaid NAMA 3.1 billion euros in personal and associated debt,” he said in a statement.

He was forced to sell a number of properties, including London prime property assets, as a result.

Mr Quinlan had previously faced bankruptcy petitions by Edgeworth Capital, the fund owned by billionaire Robert Tchenguiz.

After purchasing the headquarters of Banco Santander in Madrid in September 2008, Edgeworth and Aabar Investments acquired Mr Quinlan’s personal debt of around 75 million euros.

Mr Quinlan said he has been unable to restart his career and repay the debt as his battle continued with NAMA.

In a letter he said: “However, it should be emphasised that I am not acceding to Tchenguiz’s bankruptcy petition and the purported petition debt; and the grounds upon which the petition has been presented remain disputed.”