Court makes €750,000 judgment against Crosbie

Court makes €750,000 judgment against Crosbie

A company which developed the Grand Canal Theatre yesterday secured a judgment of €750,000 against businessman Harry Crosbie after the High Court was informed that he had failed to comply with an agreement to resolve a legal dispute over the venue.

Earlier this year Ramford Ltd, a company controlled by developer Joseph O'Reilly, had sued Mr Crosbie, who owns the lease of the theatre at Grand Canal Square, regarding an alleged €3m debt arising from an agreement between them to develop the 2,000-seat theatre.

Last June, the Commercial Court was told the matter had settled.

However, today at the Commercial Court, Mr Justice Peter Kelly was informed by lawyers for Ramford that Mr Crosbie was in breach of the terms of the settlement of that dispute by failing to pay the firm €750,000 by August 31.

The court heard that the firm had not received any of the €750,000, and it was now seeking judgment against Mr Crosbie for that amount.

In granting judgment against Mr Crosbie Mr Justice Kelly said the businessman had "committed to" but had "not honoured" the agreement he entered into.

The Judge said that nobody had forced Mr Crosbie to agree to pay the money by the end of August.

The Judge said that also dismissed an application made on Mr Crosbie's behalf to have the matter adjourned. Lawyers for Mr Crosbie sought further time so that he could pay some of what was owed immediately, while the rest would be paid at a later date.

The Judge said he was not prepared to further adjourn the matter. He said that Mr Crosbie had already obtained additional time from the start of September to yesterday's date to resolve the issue.

In its action, Ramford had claimed Mr Crosbie had to adhere to the express terms of the contract agreed between the parties in June 2007.

Under that agreement, Ramford claimed it was to design and construct the theatre and to ensure various theatre works were designed, carried out and completed.

Mr Crosbie, the company alleged, had undertaken to provide a contract sum of €10m on the completion date and to discharge additional amounts paid by Ramford for the purchase and installation of fixtures, fittings and equipment (FF&E).

If the direct and vouched costs of the FF&E exceeded €6.5m, Ramford claimed there was an agreement Mr Crosbie would pay the additional amount within 10 working days from receipt of the relevant invoices provided the FF&E were installed in accordance with the agreement.

Ramford claimed it spent some €9.4m on FF&E by July 2009 when a dispute arose between the sides as to liability for some €2.9m of that. Ramford also rejected claims there was any concluded variation of that contract.

Ramford then sought to have that matter dealt with by an independent professional, as provided for in the agreement, but Mr Crosbie maintained the matters in dispute were not appropriate for determination by the independent professional.


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