Nick Candy triumphs as judge throws out £1.5 billion compensation claim
No prospective purchaser named in "absurd" claim
London property developer Nick Candy has won a £1.5 billion legal battle after the High Court threw out a case brought by a man who claimed he could negotiate the sale of apartments in the city's most prestigious residential block.
Mr Candy is set to pursue Michael Brown for the recovery of costs after a judge said a welter of allegations were "without any merit at all". The deputy master, Michael Jefferis, gave Mr Brown 14 days to make good.
The developer and owner of the One Hyde Park complex condemned the court action as "absurd and improper" in a statement. Mr Candy is a self-made property tycoon who has made his fortune developing luxury homes in the British capital and elsewhere.
"This was a hopeless claim from the outset with no reasonable grounds whatsoever for bringing any kind of case against the defendants," he said. "After multiple attempts by Mr Brown to delay today’s hearing, we are pleased that the Master has decided to stop this absurd claim from proceeding any further.
"This has been an astonishing abuse of the court and judicial process. Mr Brown has deliberately used these proceedings to bring improper and abusive claims and to launder defamatory allegations in order to elicit vast sums of money. Mr Brown did not attend the hearing today after accusing several members of the court staff of discrimination, bullying and conspiracy."
Failure by Mr Brown to pay the court costs and those awarded to Mr Candy would result in bankruptcy proceedings against him.
The self-proclaimed businessman had alleged that he had negotiated with an unnamed Saudi Arabian client to purchase a penthouse in the complex. In papers submitted to the court he had argued that this sale was frustrated in part because Hamad bin Jassim, the former prime minister of Qatar, owned property in One Hyde Park.
Despite pursuing the claim, Mr Brown failed to produce documentary evidence relating to any sale of the property. The defence submission said the alleged transaction had never existed, pointing out the prospective purchaser was never named, no prospective purchaser ever visited the property and no offer was ever made.
The businessman claimed a background in the entertainment business and to have represented the interests of internationally famous pop stars in the UK. However Mr Candy's legal team said that Sony Music had disavowed any link to events claimed by Mr Brown.
One Hyde Park in Knightsbridge is close to Harrods department store and is linked via a tunnel to the Mandarin Oriental hotel. It was designed by architect Richard Rogers and opened in 2011 boasting 86 apartments.
Updated: July 18, 2019 06:34 PM