Judge rejects ‘Alice in Wonderland’ claims by Dunnes over Point Village settlement
Dunnes Stores loses appeal over Ђ15.5m payment to receivers relating to Point Village development
The receivers had claimed the Ђ15.5 million was due under a 2010 settlement between Dunnes and Point Village Development Ltd
Dunnes Stores has lost its appeal over orders requiring it to cover Ђ15.5 million towards the receivers of a company of businessman Harry Crosbie to be able to comply with agreed terms of settlement of a legal dispute concerning the planned Point Village development.
Dunnes was effectively asking the Court of Appeal to grant an “Alice in Wonderland” license to it to interpret words into the settlement as Dunnes wishes “depending from the result they sought to achieve”, Ms Justice Mбire Whelan said.
The receivers had claimed the Ђ15.5 million was due under a 2010 settlement between Dunnes and Point Village Development Ltd (PVD) negotiated by PVD chairman Mr Crosbie before NAMA appointed receivers that are joint the company in 2013 by walking of a Ђ450 million debt.
PVD brought proceedings in 2009 alleging Dunnes had did not honour a 2008 agreement reached as part of a deal under which Dunnes was to get to be the main, or anchor tenant, in the centre.
Dunnes denied the claims and counterclaimed PVD had not complied with a few of the obligations underneath the agreement.
The outcome settled during the High Court in 2010 but disputes that are further in addition to sides later negotiated supplemental terms of settlement.
The 2010 settlement provided PVD was launched from obligations to make an “iconic” 39-storey Watchtower and a Spine Building intended to house the U2 Experience museum.
The agreement also varied terms of the lease to Dunnes and reduced a Ђ46 million sum Dunnes had contracted to pay for the website to Ђ31 million, which latter sum was put into a account that is nominated.
Dunnes paid PVD some Ђ11.8 million from the nominated account in late 2010 but made any further payments.
The receivers engaged with Dunnes concerning completion of matters outstanding under the development agreement for the centre and the settlement agreement in 2013, after joint receivers were appointed over certain assets of Mr Crosbie and PVD.
PVD argued it had complied with its obligations under the settlement agreement and Dunnes needed to release some Ђ15.5 million, plus accrued interest, to it.
Dunnes argued, among other claims, PVD was expected to secure “high end” tenants for units in the centre before Dunnes was obliged to discharge the monies.
Dunnes did not deny it had been obliged to produce sums payable under clauses associated with the agreement but argued it was “inappropriate” to do this once the parties were otherwise in dispute.
Proceedings issued in which the High Court’s Ms Justice Caroline Costello was asked to determine what was needed to fulfill the terms of the settlement agreement.
The judge upheld PVD’s claims it had met obligations under the settlement agreement and said Dunnes was obliged to release Ђ15.5 million to Point Village “forthwith”, plus accrued interest in a 2017 judgment.
Dunnes appeal against that decision was dismissed on Tuesday by a three judge Court of Appeal.
In a judgment that is detailed Ms Justice Whelan said Dunnes had neglected to demonstrate or establish manifest error within the construction and operation by PVD of the terms of settlement.
Dunnes claim was “wholly lacking” in any valid www.eliteessaywriters.com/write-my-paper/ basis that would warrant the court exercising its exceptional discretion to admit extrinsic language to undermine the “very clear” language of the clauses in dispute, she said.
The substance of Dunnes contention distills to a claim the “perfectly clear” word “tenants” in the terms of settlement negotiated because of the parties, “and signed off with extensive legal and expert advice”, should be construed to mean “tenants of a quality” that is high.
The COA also dismissed a appeal that is separate Dunnes against a High Court refusal to direct that Dunnes could inspect certain documents in regards to the agreements for lease.