AMA has dropped three former management executives – Steven Bubulj, David Marino and Dave Calder – as well as Drive Group Corporation, Drive Group Repairs, and Drive Group Claims, from its Federal Court lawsuit.
In a case management hearing this week, Federal Court Justice Ian Jackman dismissed the proceedings between AMA Group and Marino, Bubulj, Calder and Drive Group without making an order for costs.
AMA continues to pursue former CEO Andy Hopkins as well as his company Cedarfield Holdings, along with other former AMA executives Stephen Harding-Smith, Peter Bubeck and Jim Timuss.
Hopkins and Cedarfield have lodged cross claims.
The legal stoush began after AMA claimed that some of its former senior managers began working at Drive in violation of contractual restraints.
Hopkins denied having any involvement with Drive, while Bubulj is the Group’s founder and CEO, Marino is Executive Director & Group Strategy Officer, and Calder is Chief Operating Officer.
According to LinkedIn, Harding-Smith is a self-employed CFO, Peter Bubeck is a self-employed investor and developer, and Jim Timuss is acting CEO of Unity Asia in Thailand, which AFR Weekend claims Hopkins started.
According to AFR Weekend, AMA alleged that each respondent was directly or indirectly involved in a business known as Unity Claims Management, of which “Hopkins was the largest beneficial shareholder”. Drive bought the Unity Australian operation, but Hopkins said it did not compete with AMA as it was a claims business.
However, AMA contends that Drive competes for repair work and that the respondents breached contractual obligations by being involved with the Drive business and poaching AMA staff.
Hopkins told AFR Weekend that he was not an employee or shareholder in Drive and did “not intend to compete in Australia”, which explained why he sold Unity in Australia and leased former AMA sites he owned in Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory to Drive.