Damac Properties had sought to overturn the original default ruling, made on April 14, but the DIFC Court said that its defence had no “real prospects of success”. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A developer has had its appeal against a Dh1.7 million compensation claim thrown out by the Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) Court.

Damac Properties was told yesterday that it must pay Irish couple Noel and Lorna Gaffney compensation for failing to deliver their apartment in Dubai's Park Towers on time.

The developer had sought to overturn the original default ruling, made on April 14, but the DIFC Court said that its defence had no "real prospects of success".

Legal fees

It also criticised the company for using highly technical arguments and tactics as well as the casual manner in which it had approached the court proceedings — as a result, it ruled that Damac should pay the Gaffney's Dh200,000 legal fees.

During the case in April, the court heard that the Gaffneys had purchased off plan an apartment in the Damac property in 2004 but had brought a claim for a refund of 90 per cent of the purchase price, which they had already paid, plus compensation after Damac failed to hand over the property on the agreed date.

Speaking after the ruling, Noel Gaffney said he was delighted with the result.

"We are very pleased with this result. All we wanted was the court to uphold our rights under the contract," he said.

Kaashif Basit, a partner at KBH Kannuun and legal counsel for the claimants, also praised the decision.

"I am absolutely delighted for the Gaffneys with this result.

"The DIFC Court has shown time and again that it will be robust in enforcing legitimate rights of parties and upholding contracts where the merits deserve it," he said.

Weighing options

"I very much hope that, for a change, Damac will now be sensible and sit down to reach an amicable settlement in the several other similar cases that we have in the pipeline," he said.

But speaking to Gulf News after the decision, Damac did not rule out a further appeal.

"It is disappointing for our client that the application to have the default judgement set aside was unsuccessful. There is a process of appeal and our client is currently considering its options," said Jonathon Davidson, Managing Partner of Davidson & Co, which is acting for Damac.