When is an architect not an architect? When he’s trying to get out of a lawsuit.
Billionaire rental and services mogul Henry Silverman, founder of the now-defunct Cendant Corp., is suing Upper East Side resident Yianni Skordas for extremely shoddy work at Silverman’s island estate in the Bahamas city of Nassau.
Skordas, showing impressive chutzpah, is defending himself by claiming he’s simply not a professional architect, despite his repeated claims, and so cannot technically be sued.
“The law is well-settled that only professionals can be held liable for malpractice,” Skordas’ lawyer David Bolton asserted in court filings.
Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Saliann Scarpulla wasn’t impressed. “Defendants who hold themselves out as licensed professionals when they are not may nonetheless be liable for malpractice,” she wrote, ordering Skordas to face trial.
The alleged non-architect built a “jail-like fence around the property,” installed a “door to nowhere” and took money earmarked for contractors, the suit said.
For his unprofessional services, Skordas charged Silverman and his wife $145,000.
Silverman founded Cendant, a diversified service and rental company, in the early 1990s and ran it until its breakup in 2006. He became chief operating officer at Apollo Global Management in 2009, and joined Guggenheim Partners in 2012 as head of real estate investment. Last month, he accounced he’d founded a new investment firm, 54 Madison Partners LLC. [NYP] – Ariel Stulberg
Correction: A prior version of this article stated that Silverman was currently at Guggenheim Partners.