Super-wealthy property developers and brothers Nick Candy and Christian Candy have won a £132 million court case against their former friend and fellow developer Mark Holyoake.
The long-running court battle saw Holyoake accuse the pair of blackmail, extortion, and intimidation in relation to a complex London property deal that turned sour.
The High Court ordered Holyoake to pay the brothers £5.8 million in interim costs of £5.7 million by mid-January 2018.
The brothers said in a statement: “We have won the case. The judgment shows that Mr Holyoake and his accomplices are well-practised liars and forgers of documents, and Mr Holyoake even lied to the Court repeatedly as part of The High Court proceedings. The Judge saw through his lies and dismissed every one of Mr Holyoake’s claims.
“It has taken a great deal of time and effort to win this case and it has caused unwarranted damage to our personal and business lives. The claim should never have been brought. We look forward to time more positively spent with our families and in our respective businesses.”
Justice Nugee, the judge presiding over the case, said: “None of the protagonists emerge from the trial with great credit. Each has been shown to have been willing to lie when they consider their commercial interests justify them doing so.”
Holyoake plans to contest the judgement, according to a statement sent by a representative. It said: “We, the claimants, are in a state of disbelief that Mr Justice Nugee has not ruled in our favour and intend to seek an appeal with immediate urgency. Anyone reading today’s judgment will see that there are currently no winners here. I stand by our allegations and maintain that my own actions were deployed in self protection and wholly justified in the circumstances.”
The judgement draws the curtain on the long-running case, with Nugee taking eight months to come to a decision.
The Candys are London’s best-known luxury property developers, and have a joint net worth of £600 million. They are responsible for One Hyde Park, the penthouse of which sold for (a rumoured) £140 million in 2013 — making it the single largest residential sale in the UK at the time.
The case has proven sensational for delving into the pair’s tax affairs and their glitzy private lives encompassing celebrities like Holly Valance and Katy Perry, multi-million pound properties, a jetset lifestyle, and private investigators.
The trial veered between bitter, emotional accusations and dry financial details, and brought the Candy brothers’ own relationships under the spotlight. While the brothers may have triumphed, their reputations have been dented in the court battle.
The fight was based on a claim brought by Nick Candy’s former university friend and fellow developer Mark Holyoake in 2015.
Holyoake borrowed £12 million from Christian Candy’s company, CPC Group, in order to redevelop the plush Grosvenor Gardens in London into a block of luxury flats.Holyoake, through his company Hotblack, took on a debt facility from Investec bank to help with the approximately £42.5 million deal. But the bank didn’t lend him the full amount — so he turned to other sources, including the Candy brothers.
According to Holyoake’s account of events, Nick Candy unofficially brokered a loan from his brother Christian. Christian provided a £12 million loan to Holyoake, through CPC Group, in exchange for a 20% interest rate and 30% of the profit from the eventual sale of the revamped Grosvenor Gardens.
Holyoake alleged the Candys’ real intent was to “steal” the redevelopment and the subsequent profits. He claims he signed more loan agreements after being “threatened” by Christian Candy, and that he ultimately repaid £37 million. He said he was forced to sell Grosvenor Gardens earlier than planned, losing out on millions in planned profits. During explosive evidence in court, Holyoake claimed Christian Candy had made veiled threats against his pregnant wife.
The Candys denied making any such threats, accusing Holyoake of lying and using the press to damage their reputations and bolster their claim.