A PAST employee of the Chow brothers will finally receive some of the money he is owed by the Wellington sex entrepreneurs.
Former general manager James Jesudhass was awarded nearly $120,000 after the Employment Court found he was unfairly dismissed.
Liquidators were days from going to court to recover what they considered to be a voidable transaction from Michael and John Chow’s company Just Hotel when they offered to settle.
The Just Hotel, in Willis St, was sold in 2008 and put into liquidation in 2009. That same year, after protracted mediation and drawn-out legal proceedings, the Employment Court found Mr Jesudhass had been unfairly dismissed from his job four years earlier.
He was awarded $119,237, but the company had not paid a cent.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment claimed the company had made an insolvent transaction from Just Hotel to the Chow Group in an alleged bid to avoid the Employment Court settlement.
A hearing was to have taken place in the High Court at Wellington last month.
In the final liquidator’s report, issued last week, Official Assignee liquidator Marc Graham said that, after the issuing of a voidable notice, “as expected the creditor filed an objection in response”.
“Prior to the scheduled hearing date the liquidator presented the creditor with a settlement offer which, after some deliberation, was accepted.”
A ministry spokesman would not disclose the sum obtained, but said the distribution to creditors was likely to be about 30 cents in the dollar.
“The Official Assignee’s move to settle out of court avoided a costly court case and possible appeal – expenses which have been taken out of the dividend,” the spokesman said.
The recovered funds were put into the liquidator’s trust account and would be used to pay costs and make a partial payment to Mr Jesudhass and another creditor.
Mr Jesudhass, who now lives in Dunedin, said he was delighted the matter had been settled.
Though he may not receive the full amount he was owed, he was “just glad [it] finally did have to pay”.
1. Ex-hotel boss wins pay case against Chows by Marty Sharpe
The Dominion Post: 29 June 2013 p. A21
Further background reading see;
1. Hotel boss gets $120,000 after dismissal by Paul Easton 3/04/09
2. Man gets huge payout for unfair dismissal.
TVNZ – OneNews. 13/04/09 Source NZPA
A former hotel manager has been awarded $120,000 after being unfairly dismissed from his job.
The Employment Court found James Jesudhass was unfairly dismissed while in mediation over his job at the Just Hotel in Wellington four years ago.
The court ordered the hotel’s owners, brothers John and Michael Chow, to pay him $119,237, including $68,000 in lost wages, $20,000 for loss of a car and $10,000 for distress.
The brother’s had suspended Jesudhass from work soon after the mediation about management issues began, and then dismissed him two weeks later.
Judge Barrie Travis said the defendant’s actions were both procedurally unfair and substantively unjustified.
The hotel on Willis St has since changed hands
3, Shoddy treatments costs Just Hotel $120,000 by Greg Cain, 21/04/09
4. A case of Just how not to manage staff. The Dominion Post 25/04/09
by Peter Cullen is a partner at Cullen – the Employment Law Firm
5. Powell, Carol, “Casenote: Just Hotel Limited v. James Jesudhass (NZ)” (2010). ADR-related Case Notes. Paper 4. http://www.civiljustice.info/adrcases/4
6. Chow brothers face High Court action. By Blair Cunningham 21/09/12
The business, innovation and employment ministry is taking high-profile property developers the Chow brothers to the High Court over an insolvent company transaction.
The Wellington-based brothers are widely known through their investment in strip clubs and brothels, including Il Bordello and Splash in Wellington.
John and Michael Chow are also behind a planned “super brothel” opposite Auckland’s Sky Tower, on the site of the demolished historic Aurora Hotel, which developed fatal cracks in its walls during refurbishment in 2010.
The decision to take the pair to the High Court relates to a transaction made between their companies Chow Group and Wellington’s Just Hotel Ltd.
It took place around the time the Willis St hotel was sold in 2008 and put into liquidation the following year.
A former manager, James Jesudhass, was awarded nearly $120,000 in costs after taking the brothers to the Employment Court, claiming he had been unfairly dismissed.
Ministry spokesman Britton Broun told NBR ONLINE the official assignee had written to the Chow brothers asking for them to set aside the undisclosed amount for the insolvent transaction. However, they wrote back, objecting.
He says that as a result papers will be filed with the High Court within the next month.
Mr Broun says even if the court action is successful, it does not necessarily guarantee Mr Jesudhass will receive any money.
If it is, the transaction will be handled by the official assignee, who will divide the money between creditors.