Lang Walker settles developer claim | The Australian

A SUPREME Court action by a former Victorian chief executive of Mirvac against property billionaire Lang Walker has been settled out of court.

High-profile Melbourne developer Kevin Hunt, a former consultant to Walker Corporation’s $400 million Kew Cottages development, claimed he was owed millions of dollars after being dumped from the luxury housing project in mid-2007.

Walker Corporation, which had earlier employed Mr Hunt as its Victorian business development manager, later hired him as a consultant to lead the controversial inner-east redevelopment of the disabled persons facility, a joint venture between Walker and the Victorian government.

However, Walker subsequently terminated the Hunt consultancy agreement, claiming the initial 44 homes built as part of the first 55-property stage one of the project were behind schedule and over budget.

According to Walker defence documents, Mr Hunt allegedly failed to properly manage the project, and did not have the skills and abilities he represented.

The documents alleged not enough construction workers were used, consultants were employed on an hourly rate rather than paid a lump sum and money was wasted on expensive finishes.

They further alleged Mr Hunt had initially forecast a $5.45m profit for the houses, while there had been a loss of more than $7m.

That claim has been subsequently supported by the state government’s disclosure in April this year that it lost $17m on the sale of all 55 homes in the first stage of the development.

Mr Hunt, Mirvac’s Victorian chief executive between 1994 and 2002, is now residential manager for Melbourne development group the MAB Corporation.

Court documents revealed Walker Corporation was to pay him $400,000 a year for his seven-year consultancy, as well as a $1m interest-free loan. He was also to receive a $250,000 success fee for the first stage of the Kew project, as well as 10 per cent of net profit for the entire project, minus a sum of $2.8m.

Attempts to reach Mr Hunt for comment were unsuccessful.

Alex King, a spokesman for Walker Corporation lawyer Arnold Bloch Leibler, confirmed there had been a pre-trial out-of-court settlement.

 

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