The Candy Brothers court battle with British businessman Mark Holyoake continues to rumble on as top estate agent Savills faces accusations that it handed confidential information to the infamous brothers.
Savills has received a demand to hand over evidence including text messages and emails relating to an acrimonious legal dispute between the property tycoons and Mark Holyoake.
Holyoake has applied to the high court for disclosure of the documents with a view to launching a separate lawsuit against Savills, seeking compensation for alleged misconduct including breach of confidentiality.
The case is a potential PR nightmare for Savills, according to the Guardian: “Any such lawsuit could prove embarrassing for Savills, which has a reputation for upholding high standards of discretion about the assets and financial affairs of its wealthy clientele.”
The allegation, he will allege, gave the brothers information about his assets that helped them exert financial pressure on him.
Holyoake has accused the pair of extorting him into making £37m of payments, via various penalties and renegotiated loan agreements, on a £12m loan arranged by his former university friend Nicholas Candy. He is suing them for £132m in a separate, unresolved lawsuit concerning the loan.
His statement said: “[At] the very least, I am concerned that the evidence … shows that Savills breached its legal obligations to me, and there is good evidence to suggest that they were also involved in the conspiratorial actions of the Candy Brothers.”
In his witness statement, Holyoake pointed to evidence that emerged during the Candy brothers trial showing the pair obtained the confidential valuation for his family property in Ibiza. An email from Nick Candy showed that he had lunch with Michael Sharpe-Neal, Savills’ valuation director, and learned of Savills’ valuation of Holyoake’s property. Candy’s email concluded: “I will get the valuation today and send it through.”
The idea was that Holyoake’s Ibiza property could act as security against the £12 million loan from Christian Candy — but only if the brothers knew how much that property was worth.
In his witness statement Holyoake said the “passing over of information” to the Candy brothers represented a security risk. He said: “In 2012, during the course of my dealings with the Candy brothers, I resorted to having to engage armed close protection officers to protect my children and my (then) pregnant wife.” Savills’ valuation documents included a floorplan and photographs, he said.
Holyoake will highlight a close working relationship between the Candys and Savills, including the fact that the estate agency earned a £10m commission on the brothers’ One Hyde Park development. Holyoake wants Savills to hand over any correspondence relating to himself, his Ibiza property, and the building at the heart of his dispute with the Candy brothers — Grosvenor Gardens House. These documents, he said, could reveal “collusion” between the estate agent and the Candy brothers.
DealMakerz thinks this is an intriguing case being brought against the Candy Brothers and potentially more damaging than previous more tabloid accusations from Holyoake in the seemingly never-ending court room drama.
Agencies have to tread a close when retaining confidential information. A broader narrative could be raised by Holyoake’s legal team that could impact the property market: at what point does the agency stop acting on behalf of their client and start conducting personal favours? We will be keeping a close eye on the trial, but for more background check out: