The former chief executive of Chartered Land Estate Management is suing its founder Joe O’Reilly for payment he says he is due in relation to the development of sites in Ballsbridge, Dublin.
Andrew Gunne, former boss of Chartered Land, and current principal of Beo Residential, is seeking judgment for €500,000 against Mr O’Reilly for an unpaid performance payment.
His case was admitted to the Commercial Court on Monday following an application from David Whelan, for Mr Gunne, who said the overall value of the payments exceeded the €1 million threshold for entry to the fast-track commercial list.
Andrew Fitzpatrick SC, on behalf of Mr O’Reilly, who disputes the claim, objected to entry of the case to the list. However, the judge was satisfied that on balance the case came within the rules of the Commercial Court.
Chartered Land is the exclusive development manager of Project Trinity, a major redevelopment of lands in Ballsbridge which include the former veterinary college.
Under a development management agreement of 2015 with the land owners, Copper Bridge, which is owned and/or controlled by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, a range of fees were to be paid to Chartered Land.
Mr Gunne said in an affidavit that payments due to him arose out of a 2018 agreement relating to him selling his shares in one of Chartered Land’s indirect holding companies, Victorem Unlimited Co (VUC).
He said when he joined Chartered Land he agreed with Mr O’Reilly that he would be entitled to 10 per cent of the defendant’s return on the disposal of certain assets managed by Chartered Land, including Dundrum Town Centre. Although this agreement was not documented, he says, he became a 25 per cent shareholder in VUC.
When he subsequently asked Mr O’Reilly when his 10 per cent would be paid, the defendant “gave a variety of excuses”, he said.
Following protracted “and on occasion heated discussions and negotiations”, he says the sale of shares was agreed where he would in turn get a number of performance or “promote” payments based on the return achieved by the Abu Dhabi owners in Project Trinity.
Mr Gunne says Mr O’Reilly paid €1.7 million but another €500,000 has now fallen due.
He says Mr O’Reilly has failed to discharge this sum despite more than one demand being made of him.