Cains acts for Irish Revenue Commissioners

Cains acted for the Irish Revenue Commissioners in relation to an application made by Danske Bank to the Isle of Man High Court for a declaration as to whether it could comply with an order of the Irish Supreme Court.

The Irish Supreme Court ordered Danske Bank to disclose to the Irish Revenue details of accounts of Irish residents held at the branch in the Isle of Man prior to its closure. However, the Irish Supreme Court also granted Danske Bank permission to seek a declaration from the Isle of Man High Court as to whether it could comply with the disclosure order without being in breach of Isle of Man law.

Danske Bank’s application was opposed by the Financial Supervision Commission and the Attorney General for the Isle of Man. Cains advanced a number of arguments in support of the Bank’s application.

The main issue related to the Bank’s duty of confidentiality to its account holders and Deemster Corlett considered in detail the Isle of Man case law upon this point. In his judgment, Deemster Corlett declared that the Bank is not precluded by any obligation of confidentiality from complying with the order of the Irish Supreme Court to disclose details of account holders who are resident in Ireland, and stated that the Bank would not commit any breach of its duty of confidentiality arising under Isle of Man law to its customers by doing so.

This is an important decision, which relates to judicial comity between courts in different jurisdictions, and to the susceptibility of banks with branches in the Isle of Man to disclosure orders made in the jurisdiction of their incorporation.

The Cains team was led by Seth Caine.