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Interior decoration firm asked to refund RM2.3 million to client

KUALA LUMPUR – Aug. 23, 2019: An interior decoration firm has been ordered by a court to immediately refund RM2,313,452.07 to its client for breach of services and deliverables.

Tatum (KL) Sdn. Bhd. had in its original claim sued Ivy Craft Sdn. Bhd. for wrongful termination but in a counter claim, the property company owned by Datin Seri Elena Taib and her Sarawak businessman husband Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib sought for the return of a substantial portion of the monies paid as deposits and payment for purported work done.

The dispute centred around two agreements – an interior design agreement and a letter of appointment referred to as the FFE agreement.

Tatum sought €464,786.00 (or RM2,186,678.69) that it alleged to be entitled to for purported unlawful termination of the FFE.

Justice Datuk Lee Swee Seng however dismissed Tatum’s claim on the ground that it had breached the Rules of Court since it was not represented by solicitors.

Further, no evidence was led by Tatum to substantiate its claim, which means Tatum’s claims remained and stood unproven even upon conclusion of the trial.

Ivy Craft’s counter claimed for breach of contract, sought relief of RM1,088,882.14 as over payment and a refund of the deposit of RM1,224,569.93.

Lee allowed the claims because there had been total failure of consideration by Tatum under the FFE, whereby it had confirmed the deposit was not utilised to purchase items as per the contract.

A total of RM1,088,882.14 paid by Ivy Craft was unaccounted for while the evidence from the architect stood unrebutted by Tatum.

Ivy Craft had also claimed against Tatum’s shareholder and director Gerardine Isabelle Loggere, a Dutch, for her fraudulent and/or negligent misrepresentation on Tatum’s ability to provide such interior design services as required, representations that Ivy Craft had relied on.

The judge however did not allow for this claim against Gerardine in her personal capacity, holding that the business and representations made by Gerardine were all done on behalf of the Tatum companies of Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

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