Meera Investment Sues City Architects FBW Ltd For Shs9.8Bn Over Breach Of Contract

Meera Investments Ltd which is part of Ruparelia group has dragged city architects FBW (U) Ltd to court, demanding for over USD 2,672,579 in damages and a refund of USD132,750 (approximately Shs 9,818,651,500 in total) which is money his company paid them for work they refused to do.

According to the document seen by this website, the case is filed at the High Court Commercial Division vide file number High Court Suit No.723 of 2020 and was filed on September 14th, 2020, through Meera Investments Ltd Lawyers of MAGNA Advocates and Ssemambo and Ssemambo Advocates.

The particulars of the case say, it all started in 2018 when Meera Investments contracted FBW (U) Ltd, through its directors Nigel J. Tilling and Paul Moore, to undertake the drawing of architectural designs and construction services for the expansion of Kabira Country Club.

In the agreement between the two parties, FBW (U) Ltd were contracted to construct hotel rooms, Service Apartments, Meeting Rooms, Storage Rooms, Security Rooms, a Health Club and an underground parking at a contractual sum of USD 375,000.

The project was set to start in January 2019 and end in January 2022.

However, despite receiving over USD 132,750 as part of the contractual sum, FBW (U) Ltd did not fulfill their part of the contract, but kept demanding for more money, yet they had submitted a payment plan to Meera Investments.

So when Meera Investments decided not to make any payments until FBW (U) Ltd fulfilled their contractual obligations, the latter decided to revoke the contract and withheld all the documents plus blue-print drawings for the project, thereby frustrating Meera Investments Limited and consequently delaying the scheduled time for the project.

Left with no other choice, Meera Investments limited was compelled to hire other companies for the project and hence incur more expenses than earlier planned, on top of registering a loss of over USD 2,672,579 as a result of lost projected income/profits brought about by the delay.

It is for that reason that Meera Investments Ltd has since dragged FBW (U) Ltd to court, with intent to compel them to refund the USD132,750 that they were paid for work they never did, plus damages of USD 2,672,579 which money the company lost as a result of the breach of contract by FBW (U) and its directors.

In their affidavit submitted to court by Meera Investments lawyers in support of the matter, they state thus;
“The Defendants (FBW Ltd, Nigel J. Tilling and Paul Moores) failed and or refused to deliver and or avail to the Plaintiff, the construction drawings package including the CAD drawings files, by the agreed date of 18 December 2018 despite all demands from the Plaintiff.

The Defendants instead blatantly made further demands for payments of the last installments of 5%, yet the same had hitherto been agreed as payable on completion of the shell and core and another 5% which had been agreed as payable upon building completion.

The Plaintiff (Meera Investments) declined to pay, not until the submission of the full construction drawings package and compliance with the scheduled services agreed to.

The Defendants held onto the adjustable soft and hard copies of the architectural and structural exteriors designs of the building blatantly demanding for the remaining installments and holding the Plaintiff at ransom.

By failing to deliver the construction drawings, the Defendants denied the Plaintiff access to the complete construction drawings package to be able to issue the same to the contractor for commencement of the construction, whereof construction of the project, which was expected to commence on January 2019 for 36 months with a full completion date of January 2022 stalled.

Owing to the delay, the Defendant’s breach of contract and professional duty and undertaking, the Plaintiff has been denied the opportunity of deriving income from the project from January 2022 to August 2022 and has suffered loss of projected income computed by its valuers, basing on the existing hotel and increased volumes of clients that had necessitated the expansion of the same, all in the sum of USD2,672,579 which the Plaintiff seeks to recover from the Defendants jointly and severally as part of the general damages.

The Plaintiff further avers that as a result of the Defendants’ breach of contract as well as breach by the 2nd and 3rd Defendant of their professional duty and undertaking, in effect delaying commencement of the project, it has been subjected to extra unanticipated demands for penalties and other expenses for which it seeks special damages as follows;

Penalties to Vcon Construction (u) Ltd USD178,239.48
Payment to an Architect firm (Design 256 Ltd) to convert Architectural Dwg files to CAD files; USD65,000

Payment to an engineering firm (Constulka CTK Services) to prepare the structural drawings to be adopted for construction and final as built drawings plus CAD filed; USD27,500

Payment to Mr. James Bakyaawa Ssozi, a mechanical and electric engineer, trading as M/s Chase Consults Ltd, to convert PDF drawings on A1 and subsequent supervision for both Mechanical and Electrical Services; USD16,000
All this makes a grand total of USD286,739.48

For all the above distress, Meera Investment prays to court as follows;
a) A declaration that the 1st Defendant breached its contract for supply of services including design development; encompassing Architectural, Structural engineering Mechanical and Electrical engineering other civil engineering services, design team co-ordination and construction supervision for the extension of Kabira Country Club and that the 2nd and 3rd Defendants breached their professional duty of care and undertaking to the Plaintiff.

b) An order for a refund of USD132,750 being money had and received to the Plaintiff’s use by the Defendants.

c) General Damages inclusive of USD2,672,579, being lost profits/income arising out of the 1st Defendants’ breach of contract and the 2nd and 3rd Defendants’ breach of professional duty and undertaking.

d) Special damages of USD286,739.48 out of the 1st Defendant’s breach of contract and the 2nd and 3rd Defendants’ breach of Professional duty and undertaking.

e) Meera Investments Ltd also seeks an award for Exemplary Damages,

f) An order of payment of interest on (b) at an annual interest rate of 25% from the date of payment of the monies to the 1st Defendant until payment in full.

g) An order for payment of interest on (c) and (e) at a Commercial rate from the date of judgment until payment in full

h) An order for payment of interest on (d) at a rate of 25% per annum from the date the cause of action arose until payment in full.

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