By Shane McGinley
O'Donnell sues indebted developer for breach of contract, may seek seven-figure sum
Indebted Dubai developer Nakheel is being sued by its former CEO Chris O’Donnell for breach of contract, legal papers have confirmed.
O’Donnell, who stepped down earlier this month after five years at the helm of the Dubai World subsidiary, is seeking a seven-figure sum in the case, Arabian Business has learned.
Nakheel said in a statement on June 8 that O’Donnell had left the company “after completing his contract terms”. A spokesperson for the developer said it could not comment on legal proceedings.
O’Donnell’s legal representative confirmed the case had been filed but declined to comment further.
Nakheel’s former CEO joined the company in 2006, going on to steer it through the collapse of Dubai’s property market and the suspension of billions of dollars of Nakheel real estate projects.
The Dubai World subsidiary, which is seeking to restructure $10.8bn in debt, was one of the biggest casualties of the property crash after overstretching itself with ambitious projects such as Palm Jumeirah and the offshore World island development.
O’Donnell’s case is one of a rash of legal actions that have been filed against the state-owned developer in recent months. Nakheel is embroiled in at least 33 legal claims, many of which have been filed by buyers of islands on the stalled World development.
The flurry of legal action may reflect fears that investors and trade creditors will be unable to pursue Nakheel through the Dubai World Tribunal if plans to separate the developer from its parent company this month go ahead.
Jonathon Davidson of Dubai-based Davidson & Co said in March the court – which was set up to hear disputes linked to Dubai World - may no longer have jurisdiction to rule on cases related to Nakheel if the company is carved out.
This is probably related to his indemnity payment and should not be lumped in to a "catch all" story which involves lawsuits relating to other issues. AB should investigate the story in more detail and let us know.
Interesting because he was in charge at Nakheel when contract obligation was never something that kept him awake in the developments that he was responsible for. He is hardly able to claim contractual breach when he did not give a damn about his customers and his contractual obligation towards them..... no loss to me.
Mr O'Donnell, you spend several years presiding over the decline of Nakheel, letting down colleagues, suppliers, and customers in the non-respect of your contractual obligations.
How you can now be serious about suing Nakheel for the non-respect of yours is beyond imagination.
I am pleased to see Mr. O'Donnell go, he did not value his customers and he is one of those Real Estate failure stories that has left a bad taste in Investors' mouth and caused further distress to the real estate sector in Dubai. When is Dubai going to make quick changes and save the remaining investors who have been hanging on to a fading string in the middle of the Ocean for more than 2 years now!!!
I heard people like him were paid over Dh 250,000 per month - maybe he should be counter sued for non-performance?
He will always be associated with failure.
He presided over the biggest real estate failure in the world , after Tokyo in 87.
He should consider himself lucky and pack his bags and sail into retirement. he is really pushing his luck by suing a company he lead to bankruptcy.
It is shocking that he now has the nerve to sue Nakheel considering that under his management hundreds of genuine investors and end-users lost significant sums or even life savings. I look forward to seeing him in the DIFC Courtroom which is open to the public.
James et al if you think the CEO of Nakheel, whether it be Mr Chris O'Donnell, any of his predecessors or incumbent, has the influence to cater for the GFC then you deserve to be in the position your in. I too lost money but don't go around blaming staff of companies i invested in. Stocks, property & other forms of investment come with factors of risk. Surely you appreciate that? In our case here in Dubai the property bubble burst & has left us with incomplete property and bankrupt developers. Other countries, including mature western markets are suffering exactly if not worse. Donâ€™t forget ALLOT of people made ALLOT of money from Nakheel, but of course we wonâ€™t be hearing from them, only the losers...
It is not AED 250,000 per month, I heard he used to get paid more than 450,000 AED plus plus....
You can almost double that number at over a 100K USD/month, +++...These are the expats filling their pockets and he should really not complain at all.