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Dubai Properties plans to counter-sue UK firm

(with inputs from agencies) / 30 June 2010

DUBAI Property developer Dubai Properties said on Tuesday that it would counter-sue British firm Hopkins Architects, which is claiming damages over the termination of a contract.

The British architecture firm has lodged a case against Dubai Properties for more than Dh27 million over alleged unpaid fees and costs for work on a pair of delayed towers — the Central Park 08 project —  in Dubai International Financial Centre, the onshore financial hub.

Dubai Properties spokesman was quoted by Reuters said on Tuesday as saying that the company had terminated the contract but had paid in full for the work done and were disputing the additional amounts the architects were claiming.

“We intend to counter-claim in relation to the services provided by Hopkins,” the agency quoted the Dubai Properties spokesman as saying.  Officials of Hopkins were unavailable for comments on the reported move by Dubai Properties, which part of the conglomerate Dubai Holdings.

The architecture firm was employed by Dubai Properties in 2005 on a Dh50.8 million contract for the twin 50-storey towers close to the Gate building in the DIFC.  Hopkins, which also designed the Gate Village next to the DIFC, alleges it is owed Dh27m in outstanding payments, including expenses and overtime.

The firm raised the issue with Dubai Properties in January last year, according to court documents. Hopkins halted work in February 2009, on the project, alleging Dubai Properties had stopped paying it.

On April 7 of the same year, Dubai Properties notified the firm it wanted to cancel the contract because of the project delay.

In its suit, Hopkins argues that it was not been paid its “proper entitlements” as per the contract that was wrongfully cancelled by Dubai Properties.



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