Swiss art collector Ruedi Staechelin has lost his appeal to avoid paying a $10m (£7.77m) commission fee to Simon and Michaela de Pury for their role in the sale of one of the world’s most expensive paintings.
Staechelin sold Paul Gauguin’s ‘When Will You Marry?’ to the Emir of Qatar for $210m in 2014, using old school friend Simon de Pury’s services to negotiate the deal, according to court documents.
However, the seller, the grandson of renowned art collector and businessman Rudolf Staechelin, refused to pay de Pury the $10m commission and appealed a previous court decision forcing him to pay.
Lord Justice Lewison dismissed the appeal at the Royal Courts of Justice yesterday.
Simon de Pury, who was previously the chairman of Sotheby’s Europe and board director at Gucci, said: “I am delighted that the appeal to overturn the judgment in our favour has been unanimously rejected by the three appeal judges.
“Once again, my role and the one of Michaela in this transaction, has been fully recognised and the integrity of a handshake deal in the art world has been upheld.
“It is regrettable that for the first time in my long career in the art market, I was forced to take legal action against anyone, and in this case, a childhood friend.”
“I am proud of my role in the sale of one of the world’s most expensive paintings ever sold for $210 million.”
De Pury was represented by Mayfair law firm Grosvenor Law.