Nakheel will be forced to pay its former CEO more than US$3 million after a court ruling against the Dubai developer in a high-profile breach of contract case.
Chris O’Donnell, who sued Nakheel in the specially-established court last year after stepping down as CEO in 2011, said in a statement following the verdict that while he was pleased with the decision, he was disappointed that the case had been necessary.
“Whilst I have been entirely vindicated by the Dubai World Tribunal, I am naturally disappointed that, despite my best efforts at compromise the matter was not able to be resolved amicably”Chris O’Donnell, ex-CEO Nakheel
“Whilst I have been entirely vindicated by the Dubai World Tribunal, I am naturally disappointed that, despite my best efforts at compromise the matter was not able to be resolved amicably without the need to take costly legal proceedings that vented Nakheel’s internal business in a public forum,” he said.
“I look forward to an ongoing relationship with Dubai and the region in general,” he added.
In a statement following the ruling, Nakheel’s lawyers said the firm maintained its position that the case should not have been heard by the DWT, and should have been heard in federal court.
“The Dubai World Tribunal is a court of Dubai. Its judges, like their colleagues sitting by the Dubai Creek, must administer UAE law as applied in Dubai, respecting the roles of the federal institutions, such as the Ministry of Labour, as allocated by the federal laws of the union.
“It is our client’s position that the federal law prescribes that Mr O’Donnell’s claim should have been brought to the Ministry of Labour… This is a view that is held by the Ministry of Labour.”
It is the second time in as many days that the DWT has ruled against Nakheel, following the court’s decision yesterday to award a contractor almost AED60 million for work carried out on a project in Discovery Gardens that was later shelved.