The Chancery Division of the High Court has dismissed all claims brought by Mark Holyoake and his corporate co-claimant Hotblack Holdings against Gowling WLG clients Chris and Nick Candy and their co-defendants. In a 194 page judgment, which follows a two month trial in early 2017, Mr Justice Nugee ruled decisively in favour of our clients.
The long-running dispute between the parties arose from a £12m loan made to Mr Holyoake in 2011 in connection with the acquisition of Grosvenor Gardens House, a listed mansion block near Victoria station, for £42m. The parties subsequently entered into a large number of further agreements as Mr Holyoake repeatedly defaulted on his obligations. The building was eventually sold in 2014 for £89m, and the following year a claim was issued against the six co-defendants seeking damages in the region of £130m for losses allegedly suffered by Mr Holyoake and Hotblack as a result.
A vast number of claims were advanced, including claims for fraudulent misrepresentation, unlawful means conspiracy, duress, blackmail, actual undue influence, intimidation, extortion under colour of due process, unlawful interference (or causing loss by unlawful means), offences under the Data Protection Act and claims under the Consumer Credit Act (“CCA”). Those claims failed in their entirety.
The case, described as the "case of the century (so far)" by one leading publication, generated a large volume of press coverage throughout the trial. There have also been a significant number of important judgments handed down from interlocutory proceedings prior to trial, including a ruling from the Court of Appeal in our clients' favour.
A team led by Andrew Smith and Samantha Holland, supported by Senior Associates, Tom Cox and Sean Adams, represented the successful defendants.
A copy of Mr Justice Nugee's judgment in full can be found here.