Sakae to pay over $100,000 in legal costs

Sakae to pay over $100,000 in legal costs

SINGAPORE - Japanese restaurant chain Sakae Holdings will have to pay more than $100,000 in legal costs and other fees relating to two lawsuits that the company brought against a previous director and subsequently dropped.

Sakae had been ordered by the High Court last week to pay these costs to ex-director Andy Ong but the amount was only finalised yesterday, the two parties said.

The company had initially brought four suits against Mr Ong, who Sakae claims mismanaged the finances of Griffin Real Estate Investment Holdings, Sakae's associate.

Last week, Sakae withdrew two of the four applications: one to appoint receivers to preserve and secure Griffin's assets, and another to sue Mr Ong and Mr Ho Yew Kong, both former directors of Griffin, on behalf of Griffin.

Following the withdrawal, Sakae was ordered by the court to pay the costs incurred for the dropped suits.

The Straits Times understands that of the costs awarded yesterday, $90,000 was for Mr Ong's legal fees and $7,000 was for costs relating to a witness cross-examination.

Another $16,000 was for disbursements, which are other out-of-pocket expenses, while the remaining amount was for costs incurred by Griffin.

In his statement yesterday, Mr Ong said he felt "vindicated" by the "substantial amount" of costs he had been awarded by the High Court.

A Sakae spokesman responded by saying that the award of costs was "not a court judgment on the merits of the discontinued legal actions".

Sakae said last week that it withdrew the two applications because it had already achieved its aim of controlling Griffin's special bank account, which holds investment proceeds from Griffin's sale of strata shop units at Bugis Cube.

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