The High Court has ruled in favour of property moguls Nick and Christian Candy in a £132 million legal action brought by former friend and businessman Mark Holyoake.
Justice Nugee dismissed all claims by Holyoake and ordered interim costs of £5.7 million to the defendants, to be paid by 11 January. This is just half the £11.4 million the Candys spent on legal fees.
Holyoake accused the brothers of a campaign of bullying, blackmail and intimidation.
He claimed they coerced him into a disastrous series of deals which saw him repay more than £37 million on a £12 million loan.
The Candys denied all accusations.
The judge said Holyoake had “lied and resorted to forgery, deceit and impersonation”. But he added that all three were “willing to lie when they consider their commercial interests justify them doing so” and said: “None of the protagonists emerge from the trial with great credit.”
During the case Holyoake’s wife Emma claimed in evidence there was a major rift between the brothers especially over Nick’s choice of wife.
The Candys said Holyoake was a pathological liar. In a statement following the verdict, they said: “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.”
Nick Candy and his wife, former Neighbours star Holly Valance, celebrated in London with friends David Walliams, Jimmy Carr and Vernon Kay.
Nick was photographed holding a card which read: “Congratulations Daddy, you’re a winner”. Nick and Holly welcomed their second child in September, a sister to their three year old daughter Luka Violet Toni.
Holly tweeted: “Ain’t that something! you lose! On every. Single. Claim”, alongside a meme featuring Morticia Addams and the words: “That moment when you witness Karma, in all its full glorious splendour”.
Holyoake, whose company was also part of the action, said in a statement: “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.”
Holyoake alleged the brothers threatened to attack him. He also said Nick Candy told him Russians debt collectors “would not think twice” about physical violence against him and his family.
The brothers were alleged to be involved in a conspiracy to drive the businessman into bankruptcy so they could steal a multi-million pound development deal and the site.
The Candys are best-known for their luxury One Hyde Park development in Knightsbridge, West London, where one flat sold for £136 million.
Christian Candy, 42, has assets valued at around £1.2 billion and his development company owns properties worth some £900 million.
His older brother Nick, 44, owns a £1.1 million collection of watches. His wedding to Valance was reported to have cost up to £3 million, including £1.2 million for Katy Perry to perform.