A team of Brattle economists, led by principal Michael Cragg, helped to secure a favorable ruling for their client, Irish property manager Patrick McKillen, after Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) attempted to seize €2.1 billion in commercial property loans that were held by Mr. McKillen and his related companies.
NAMA, a state agency responsible for seizing non-performing loans from Irish banks, was created to alleviate Ireland’s damaging credit crisis. Dr. Cragg, along with senior consultants Joseph Belanger and Lisa Cameron, and Nobel Laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz, were retained by Eugene F. Collins, Solicitors at Law in Ireland, to analyze whether it was economically appropriate for NAMA to seize the loans, and if the loans posed any risk to the Irish economy.
In a letter sent July 14, 2011, NAMA announced their decision not to acquire any of Mr. McKillen’s eligible bank assets, as the acquisition of the loans was deemed not appropriate based on the conditions set forth in the legislation creating NAMA. Their ultimate decision stems from a lawsuit that reached the Irish Supreme Court, in which Dr. Cragg, Mr. Belanger, and Professor Stiglitz provided affidavits in support of Mr. McKillen at both the initial trial and the Supreme Court appeal. The seven judge court unanimously decided in favor of Mr. McKillen, ruling that NAMA had no valid claim to initially acquire the loans in December of 2009.