The Real Deal New York

Judge to Blavatnik: You should know what a contract is

Court tosses music mogul’s suit over verbal $79M deal for UES townhouse
March 02, 2017 11:50AM

From 19 East 64th Street, David Wildenstein and Len Blavatnik (Credit: Getty Images)

Does a phone call constitute a binding sales agreement? Music mogul Len Blavatnik thinks so, but a New York judge begs to differ and tossed his lawsuit over an Upper East Side townhouse deal.

Blavatnik sued art heir David Wildenstein, claiming he reneged on a verbal promise to sell him his family’s Upper East Side 20,500-square-foot townhouse at 19 East 64th Street for $79 million.  The property sold to another bidder for $81 million.

“Your extraordinarily sophisticated and well-heeled client… relied on an oral telephone conversation,” Judge Shirley Werner Kornreich told Blavatnik’s attorneys. “He clearly knows that is not sufficient for a deal.”

According to the New York Post, Blavatnik plans to appeal Kornreich’s decision.

Back in 2014, Qatar’s government signed a contract to buy the townhouse for $90 million, but ultimately walked away from the deal.  [NYP]Konrad Putzier