Related wins $577,000 in ILSA case against Greek shipping magnate and wife

TRD New York /
Apr.April 02, 2013 10:30 AM

Related Cos. won a major victory when a federal district judge ordered a Greek shipping tycoon to pay the developer’s $577,000 in legal fees stemming from his reneging on an agreement to buy an exclusive Upper East Side condominium.

U.S. District Court Judge P. Kevin Castel ruled Monday that Vasilis Bacolitsas and his wife, Sofia Nikolaudou, must pay Related for its legal expenses after a federal appeals court overturned their lawsuit to get out of a $3.4 million apartment deal at the Brompton, at 205 East 85th Street

The couple sued under the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act, a federal law that requires developers to disclose key information to buyers interested in new condo buildings of more than 99 units. In 2010, a lower court sided with the couple on a technicality — that Related failed to record the lot description of the individual tax lot in a form that was “acceptable for recording.” A tax lot is assigned for each apartment , and all sales, mortgages, liens and other transactions are recorded under that assigned lot and filed with the city.

Related successfully appealed the decision in December; the three-judge panel noted that New York condos are often pre-sold before the building is completed, and therefore the individual tax lots are not assigned by the city Department of Finance until after construction is completed.

Bacolitsas and his wife were seeking to get back their down payment of $510,000; now, the couple will not only forfeit the deposit but will have to Related’s legal fees. The total: nearly $1.1 million.

Attorney Mark Walfish, who represented Related in the ILSA case, said the ruling for legal costs is a significant victory for developers.

“We questioned in their zeal to bring these cases, counsel for these prospective plaintiffs fully inform clients of the risk,” Walfish asked. “The sponsor was put through the mill.”

Castel also refused to allow the couple’s attorney, the firm of Adam Leitman Bailey PC, to withdraw as counsel. Bailey’s firm claimed it had been terminated, but the judge noted noting that the couple tried to remove them only after realizing that settlement talks were going against their interests.

“In The Time Since The Court’s Jan. 31 order, no attorney has appeared for plaintiffs and it is unlikely that any would ever appear because plaintiffs claim to be in dire financial condition,” the judge wrote in his decision. “Plaintiffs are employing a strategy to attempt to thwart the case from coming to conclusion.”

Bailey did not return calls. Bacolitsas could not immediately be reached for comment.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Related's Jamar Adams and Steve Ross with 14-06 Gateway Boulevard (Credit: Getty Images and Google Maps)

Related is the latest developer to target the Rockaways

Jay Kriegel (Credit: Kent Presents)

Jay Kriegel, Related senior adviser and ex-mayoral chief of staff, dies

55 Hudson Yards, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (Credit: Google Maps and Getty Images)

Here’s how much Facebook is paying at Hudson Yards

Huizenga lobbied Rick Scott to secure Opportunity Zone designation for West Palm site

Huizenga lobbied Rick Scott to secure Opportunity Zone designation for West Palm site

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Hudson Yards (Credit: Getty Images)

It’s official: Facebook is taking 1.5M sf in Hudson Yards

15 Hudson Yards (Credit: Related-Oxford, iStock)

First he sold a plot of land to Hudson Yards’ developers. Now he owns 7 luxury condos there

The Plaza Hotel in 1975 and models walking the runway during New York Fashion Week September 2019 (Credit: Getty Images)

Fashion Week struts its stuff at these iconic NYC locations

Related CEO Jeff Blau, Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing, and Time Warner Center at 10 Columbus Circle (Credit: Getty Images and Wikipedia)

Deutsche Bank shrinks footprint at future Columbus Circle home amid global downsizing

arrow_forward_ios
Loading...