Rigby Cooke Lawyers successfully acts for Central Pier Pty Ltd in its legal dispute with Development Victoria

09 February 2024

The Litigation & Dispute Resolution team at Rigby Cooke Lawyers successfully acted for Central Pier Pty Ltd and its subtenant Atlantic Group in its Federal Court claim against Development Victoria. The case, which was led by Rigby Cooke Lawyers’ Demian Walton (Partner) and supported by Sascha Kenny (Associate), was settled on Monday for a confidential sum.

Commenting on the case, Demian Walton said:

“To settle the case on the Court door was made possible by Atlantic Group’s Managing Director and Founder Hatem Saleh’s tenacity and persistence over the preceding five years, while our team combed through almost a million business records to piece together the factual history and untangle complicated engineering and accounting questions.”

The Atlantic Group were the major subtenant of the historic Central Pier in Docklands employing 1,300 staff at its stable of restaurant and bar venues. In August 2019, Central Pier was subject to an emergency evacuation due to safety concerns about its structural integrity. Shortly afterwards, Central Pier Pty Ltd commenced proceedings in the Federal Court claiming Development Victoria as its landlord had failed to repair and maintain the pier.

Hatem Saleh, the Managing Partner and Founder of the Atlantic Group, said:

“It’s been an incredibly challenging number of years for all involved and we are so grateful to Rigby Cooke, particularly Bill Karvela for his support and guidance throughout the entire process, as well as the litigation team of Demian Walton and Sascha Kenny for their unwavering support, commitment and determination in achieving a successful outcome. I couldn’t have selected a better team.”

Rigby Cooke Lawyers’ Managing Partner, Bill Karvela said:

“We have proudly acted for Central Pier Pty Ltd and Atlantic Group since it first started on the pier in 2008 and congratulate them on this successful outcome after a long fought out battle.”

Also acting for Atlantic Group were Peter Bick KC and Barrister Ben Petrie.

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