Tuesday 5 August 2014

Setback for Albarran and Pleash on eve of hearing

LESS than 24 hours before today's Supreme Court hearing into their conduct as the deed administrators of Joe & Joe Developments, Richard Albarran and Blair Pleash received unfortunate news. The shareholders of Joe & Joe who weren't suing the Hall Chadwick duo were sounding like they had changed their minds.

In a letter obtained by Sydney Insolvency News, lawyer David Sweeney outlines a litany of complaints Joe & Joe shareholder the Kossaifi family has with Albarran and Pleash's handling of Joe & Joe's lengthy and expensive administration under a Deed of Company Arrangement (DoCA).

The pair accepted the appointment in February 2009 following an approach from the Kossaifi's then lawyer, Farshad Amirbeaggi. According to the letter, the Kossaifis are now in dispute with Amirbeaggi.

Today, Supreme Court Justice Ashley Black will begin a six day hearing of an application by Joe & Joe's other shareholder, the Elias family, which is seeking a declaration that the deed administrators managed Joe & Joe in a way prejudicial to the interests of the company's members and creditors. Albarran and Pleash reject the allegations, arguing that the repeated failure of Joe & Joe's shareholders to resolve their differences has drawn out this sorry affair. 

Among the matters complained of by the Kossaifis in their August 4 letter is that Albarran and Pleash may not have been  validly appointed; that Albarran and Pleash had no reason to put the company into administration when liquidation would've sufficed; that the fees and disbursements incurred so far - $1.508 million including $770,796 to Etienne Lawyers - are excessive; that they failed to tell the Kossaifis that costs of the administration would blow-out so much - the Kossaifis claim that in their March, 2009 Report to Creditors Albarran and Pleash estimated that implementing a Deed of Company Arrangement would cost $92,000; and that Albarran and Pleash have used Joe & Joe company funds to defend the proceedings brought against them by the Elias family. 

Presumably, given many of the Kossaifi's concerns mirror those that form the basis of the allegations to be aired in the Elias proceedings, Albarran and Pleash also reject the Kossaifi's complaints on the basis that the costs have been a direct consequence of the failure of Joe & Joe's shareholders to resolve their differences. 

See also: Albarran and Pleash prepare to defend DoCA allegations

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1 comment:

  1. Why are the same insolvency practitioners always in dispute over their professional fees


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