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Fri 9 Sep 2011 09:55 AM

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Judge blocks Nakheel in $3.7m lawsuit with ex-CEO

Dubai developer told it cannot present further evidence on the performance of Chris O'Donnell

Judge blocks Nakheel in $3.7m lawsuit with ex-CEO
Judge blocks Nakheel in $3.7m lawsuit with ex-CEO
Nakheel CEO Chris ODonnell is suing for breach of contract

Nakheel can’t present further evidence on the performance of former CEO Chris O’Donnell, a judge has ruled in his $3.7 million lawsuit against the Dubai-based developer.

Judge Anthony Evans rejected Nakheel’s request to send the case to a full trial, saying there is no material dispute over facts already presented by both sides.

O’Donnell sued Nakheel in the Dubai World Special Tribunal in June.

He is seeking $3 million in long-term incentives as well as $290,850 related to currency fluctuations and $180,000 in interest, according to court documents.

Nakheel contends that O’Donnell isn’t entitled to long-term incentives because he didn’t apply for some of them within the designated time period and he resigned a week before the end of his five-year contract. O’Donnell rejects the claim.

In August, former Nakheel General Counsel David John Nicholson, won a AED752,000 ($205,000) judgment against the developer after his employment was terminated with a month’s notice, not the three months agreed to in his contract, court documents show.

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 has completed a restructuring of nearly $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.

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Red Snappa 8 years ago

There is a very good chance that Nakheel will lose this case, they issued a public statement saying that Chris O'Donell was leaving because he had reached the end of his contract! How can they now claim he resigned a week before the end of his contract!

Nakheel would do much better to settle the matter amicably from a reputation perspective. It's the market that needs reviving first!


Instead of ruling in favor of this CEO, the honorable judge should ponder twice about their position in the company for such a long period of time brought disaster to the company, it was their top decision to expand blindly without keeping abreast about the various market factors which were governing the property sectors in Dubai. Instead of rewarding them with such a colossal amount of lawsuits they should be penalize for their bad decisions.

Telcoguy 8 years ago

Maybe it was his decision or maybe not. But unless you know something i do not know, I think the board of directors was probably involved in this decision. Actually they should be the ones deciding the strategic direction. Last time imchecked, CEO report to the board.
Besides, this case is not judging nakheel performance, but odonnell's contract.

Red Snappa 8 years ago

Chronologically speaking I thought that the plans for Palm Jebel Ali, Palm Deira, The World, The Waterfront, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Jumeirah Village and Jumeirah Islands were all firmly in place before Chris O'Donnell joined the company, the only large project launched after those was Nakheel Harbour. Also there were I believe 2 CEO's before him.

The global economic crisis started to take hold in 2008, so he was only in the job two years before. From that point he delivered the Palm Jumeirah, The World's islands land masses, Jumeirah Islands,Discovery Gardens, Phase Two of International City, Jumeirah Golf Estates two golf courses, the groundwork at Jumeirah Village!

ik 8 years ago

A perfect decision - Govt. organizations here in the Gulf tend to overpower employees to their benefit - This decision empowers workers & gives them courage

PParker 8 years ago

Isn't the general rule if a company under performs or incurs major losses it is the CEO who is to blame. The CEO is to blame for not taking the right to lead the company out of financial problems. He joined 2006 therefore should have started setting up certain milestones, not go on a spending spree.

Yes 2008 had a major impact but still it is CEO job to protect the shareholders of the company, the property owners and third parties.