Property developer Luke Saraceni has vowed to push ahead with $300 million plus legal action against Bankwest despite today failing in a bid to kick out bank-appointed receivers.
Supreme Court Judge Michael Corboy this morning found that receivers from Kordametha were validly appointed to key parts of Mr Saraceni's empire including his Raine Square office development.
Mr Saraceni said the judge's ruling was on a preliminary matter and he would continue to mount his legal action on the basis of their conduct with the receivership.
KordaMentha said in a statement that Justice Corboy’s decision was a strong acknowledgment against Mr Saraceni and confirmed the appointment of partners Mark Mentha and Cliff Rocke over the developer’s Westgem Pty Ltd.
Mr Mentha said the financiers had provided Westgem with hundreds of millions of dollars and they would now pursue enforcment to get their cash back.
“I would not be surprised if Mr Saraceni appealed the decision and took other steps to stymie the financiers’ rights,” Mr Mentha said.
“In my view, it is more about Mr Saraceni avoiding reality.”
Mr Saraceni said he would be lodging his damages claim by the middle of next month to avoid the statute of limitations on matters that go as far back as 2006.
Mr Saraceni said today’s decision did not affect the damages claim, which related to the conduct of the bank as opposed to the validity of its security and the KordaMentha appointment.
“It moves to the next stage,” he said.
Mr Saraceni said would take legal advice on today's decision.
Bankwest, whose headquarters in the recently completed Raine Square tower, said in a statement that it was pleased with today’s decision.
“Bankwest and the receivers are keen to put the distraction of these particular legal proceedings behind them so they can focus on the completion and sale of the project,” it said.