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An explosive court battle between British businessman Mark Holyoake and ultra-wealthy property developers the Candy brothers has taken a new twist.
Holyoake has filed for a High Court order that would force Savills, a high-end estate agent, to turn over emails, texts, and other documents relating to his fight with the Candy brothers.
We first saw the filing reported by The Guardian, and have since seen documents relating to the High Court application, made at the end of July.
In a witness statement, Holyoake said he is mulling a separate lawsuit against Savills for alleged breach of confidentiality, misuse of private information, and breach of contract.
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.”
A new suit would centre on Savills staff allegedly passing 0n information about Mark Holyoake – their client – and the value of his home in Ibiza to Nick and Christian Candy. Holyoake has separately claimed that the Candys were trying to extort money out of him at the time.
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 earlier suit, Holyoake accused the Candy brothers of alleged blackmail, extortion, and intimidation to squeeze out a £37 million payout on a £12 million loan from Christian Candy. You can read more about the £132 million lawsuit here.
The new fight would focus on whether Savills allegedly handing over information about Holyoake made him more vulnerable to alleged financial pressure from 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.
The brothers also gave evidence during the trial confirming that they had received the valuation. Nick Candy said: “I can’t remember whether I was offered it by Savills or whether I asked for it. But either way, I acknowledge it was wrong.” Christian Candy also acknowledged at the trial that the valuation was a confidential document which he should never have seen.
Holyoake, in his witness statement, 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, Holyoake said.
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.
According to Holyoake’s witness statement, Savills refused to hand over emails and other documents voluntarily.
A Savills spokeswoman said: “We don’t comment on ongoing legal matters.”