Simon Halabi is set to sue architect Fitzroy Robinson for damages after winning a High Court claim for fraudulent misrepresentation earlier this week.
On Tuesday in the Technology and Construction Court, Mr Justice Coulson found against the architect under the Misrepresentation Act 1967. There is expected to be a further trial in December in which Halabi will sue for damages.
The dispute centres on contracts for the In and Out Club on London’s Piccadilly and Mentmore Towers in Buckinghamshire.
Anglo Swiss Holdings and Good Start Holdings own property in Piccadilly including the In and Out Club, while Mentmore Towers Ltd owns the Buckinghamshire property.
They planned to develop an exclusive members’ club in Piccadilly and turn Mentmore Towers into an associated country house hotel. All three were represented by Halabi’s Buckingham Securities Holdings.
The three entered into contracts with Fitzroy Robinson between 28 March and 30 May 2006. The judge held that Halabi signed the contracts on the basis that Fitzroy Robinson director Jeremy Blake would be involved in the schemes.
However, Blake had resigned from the company on 17 March 2006, and Halabi was not informed until 14 November 2006. Halabi said he would not have entered into the contracts if he had known Blakewould not be involved, and that Blake’s departure delayed the projects. The judge upheld Halabi’s claim that this had been kept from him by Fitzroy Robinson.
However, the judge said Halabi had not shown that Blake’s departure had delayed the project. The judge did not find that Fitzroy Robinson had been negligent or acted in breach of contract. He said there was not enough evidence that its actions had caused delays on the Piccadilly planning application.
The original case was launched by Fitzroy Robinson against the three companies for around £1.6m of unpaid fees on the planned schemes. The judge found that delays to the programme meant they were not entitled to all these fees.
Fitzroy Robinson said its legal team is looking at whether it can make an appeal.