Property Tycoon Sues Lawyers After €4.5m Yacht's Engine's Malfunction
American ex-telecom mogul and owner of a New York property empire Michael Hirtenstein recently sued his own lawyers for failing to secure a guarantee over the condition a €4.5m yacht.
Back in 2010, Hirtenstein bought the 46ft yacht named Candyscape from the London-based luxury property developer Christian Candy. Hirtenstein assumed the apparent discounted price of €4.5m was due to a recession related dive in luxury yacht sales. However, following the sale, on the day of the handover, the yacht’s starboard engine failed just 12 miles into it’s new owner’s first voyage. Hirtenstein had allegedly made the "vanity purchase" of Candyscape (which he quickly changed the name to Il Sole) as a venue to propose to his girlfriend.
Hirtenstein took his lawyers Hill Dickinson to London’s High Court of Justice. A hearing lasting two weeks ruled that James Lawson, a Hill Dickinson partner working for Hirtenstein had misinformed Hirtenstein about the yacht coming with a personal guarantee from Christian Candy’s Candyscape Ltd.
The Candyscape yacht was originally purchased by Christian Candy in 2005 for $12.45m (€9.3m). Candyscape was put on the market to be re-sold at €17m. Court documents described the sale of the yacht to Hirtenstein for €4.5m as an "emergency fire sale".
The yachts engine damage reportedly needed €336,000 of repairs, but Hirtenstein has since invested approximately €1.85m in refurbishing the yacht to his satisfaction. Il Sole is now available to charter from €100,000 per week around New York.
Although the court ruled that Hill Dickinson were liable for legal negligence, it was also decided that the incident had not caused Hirtenstein any considerable loss, and that Hirtenstein had only insisted on a guarantee after the yacht’s engine had malfunctioned. The case will finally be settled in October when the "nominal damages" amount Hirtenstein will receive will be decided.
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Image Credits: Superyachttimes
Article by Jack Bartrop