By James Atkinson
Legal disputes over the collapse of two Sydney pubs and a contract brewing operation continue to progress through the courts.
Richard Webster and Loris Webster have taken legal proceedings against Super Smart Strategies Pty Ltd and Rick Frank Alfred Manietta, who the Websters claim advised them to invest $1 million in a short-term loan secured by a brewery, two hotels and a residential property formerly associated with publican Damian Silk.
The two pubs – The Welcome Hotel and The Australian Youth Hotel – fell into receivership in late 2011 due to financial difficulties associated with Silk’s other business, Australian Independent Brewers.
According to Supreme Court documents, the Websters assert that Manietta and Super Smart Strategies breached the terms of the loan agreement, breached their duty of care and engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct.
“The plaintiffs' claim over the Silk Investment includes a claim for $1M and interest,” the documents say.
But Manietta, through another company called Rick Manietta Investments (RMI), has sought to bring cross-claims in the proceedings against various other parties connected to the failed venture, including legal firms and Silk himself, for allegedly misleading RMI in a related loan transaction.
In a court decision handed down last week, Acting Justice Graham Barr allowed Super Smart Strategies and Manietta access to documents relating to a separate case – Manietta Investments Pty Ltd v Welcome Hotel – to use in their defence of the Websters’ claim.