The High Court has ruled in favour of Nick and Christian Candy in a £100m action brought by businessman Mark Holyoake.
Mr Justice Nugee dismissed all claims by Holyoake after a long-running legal battle between the former seafood magnate and the two property moguls, and ordered interim costs of £5.7m to the defendants, to be paid by 11 January 2018.
“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," the judge said, according to Estates Gazette.
The case centred on claims the Candy brothers threatened Holyoake over a loan deal that went wrong.
Holyoake, a former long-time friend of Nick Candy, was handed a £12m loan in October 2012 by a company linked to the brothers to redevelop Grosvenor Gardens House into high-end residential property.
However, the deal soon turned sour, with Holyoake claiming the Candys mislead him on the terms of the loan and then subjected him to, according to his lawyer's opening argument, "a long-running, highly unpleasant and malicious campaign of threats, abuse, intimidation and coercion directed at himself and his family" including Holyoake's pregnant wife and unborn child.
The Candys denied all accusations. Holyoake was seeking £132m in damages.
In a statement following the verdict, the Candy brothers said: "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."
Holyoake commented: "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."