Tuesday 27 January 2009

Estate agent claims €1.5m in unpaid fees from developer

A FIRM of estate agents has brought a legal action against one of the country’s largest property developers claiming €1.5 million in unpaid fees.

The action taken by CB Richard Ellis against Sean Dunne was transferred to the Commercial Court yesterday by Mr Justice Peter Kelly who listed it for hearing on February 18.

The judge was told by Brian Murray SC, for Mr Dunne, the alleged liability was not of Mr Dunne, but of one of his companies, Mountbrook Homes Ltd.

CB Richard Ellis has claimed in an affidavit the agreement involved in the case was made with Mr Dunne personally and alleges the appearance entered by the defence was “solely for the purpose of delay”.

Asked by the judge what was the defence, Mr Murray said there was “a very significant dispute” about the amount of the claim and there was also an issue in relation to the level of services provided.

CB Richard Ellis, with registered offices at Connaught House, Burlington Road, Dublin, is claiming the fees in relation to a commercial property transaction involving the sale of premises known as Riverside IV at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay in Dublin and the part exchange of that with another property, Hume House, Pembroke Road.

In an affidavit, CB Richard Ellis director Willie Dowling said Mr Dunne had, under an oral agreement evidenced by a fax of September 15, 2004, engaged the services of CB Richard Ellis concerning the transaction. CB Richard Ellis had acted for Mr Dunne personally and also for his companies on many occasions. While the fax of September 15, 2004, was on the headed notepaper of Mountbrook, the agreement on the Riverside IV deal was with Mr Dunne in his personal capacity and Mountbrook had no involvement with the transaction “on any level”.

Mr Dowling said the aspect of his company’s fee which was in dispute related to an investment fee agreed at 0.75% of the sale price, which amounted to €1.44 million, plus VAT.

He had later negotiated a reduction of that fee on a goodwill basis to €1.25 million, plus VAT (some €1.52 million).

Irish Examiner


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