“Noel Edmonds of the popular Deal or No Deal show may have lost a dispute in the High Court a property deal” Alison O’Connor
Article Source: The Independent Network of Estate Agents
No Deal Noel could lose £1m
Noel Edmonds lost a High Court battle yesterday in a dispute with a friend over property schemes.
The Noel’s House Party presenter accused his business partner Ulrik Lawson of reneging on a property deal which left him £500,000 out of pocket.
In turn, Mr Lawson sued Edmonds to recoup cash for apparent building work on another £2million house bought by the Deal Or No Deal host.
Edmonds could be left £1million out of pocket after being ruled against in both aspects of the case.
In the first claim, the 62-year-old said property tycoon Mr Lawson owed him over a business venture in which they bought a £2.1million country estate in South Tawton, Devon, in 2006.
The court heard that Edmonds and Mr Lawson each initially invested £300,000 in the deal, planning to build houses on the site.
However permission was never granted. And Edmonds told the court he had lost £572,000 in total, in part because the property was sold two years later at a loss.
At that time, a court heard, Edmonds received just £52,000 back, while Mr Lawson got his full £300,000.
Edmonds told the court that Mr Lawson had persuaded him to ‘come on board’ by agreeing that his investment would be ‘repaid in priority’ in the event of a sale.
Edmonds said Mr Lawson owed him more than £370,000 overall and told a court he had been ‘betrayed’ by his friend.
But in a written judgment, handed down in London yesterday, Judge David Wilcox, who heard evidence in Bristol in September, ruled against Edmonds, saying he was not entitled to a payout from Mr Lawson.
Mr Lawson had also made a £260,000 counter-claim against Edmonds for alleged unpaid work on an Exeter property.
Edmonds said Mr Lawson had agreed to manage the refurbishment of the property for free.
But Mr Lawson, 50, denied this, arguing that he was a ‘construction professional’ who ‘could not afford to work in such a way’.
And yesterday Judge Wilcox said: ‘I do not accept that [Mr Lawson] agreed to undertake the [work] for no cost as alleged by Mr Edmonds.’
Edmonds had told the court that Mr Lawson was like ‘the brother he never had’.
But Judge Wilcox said: ‘The close relationship...later became an impediment.’
A hearing to decide costs will be held at a later date, but Edmonds could be liable to pay more than £800,000.
Source: Mail on line and INEA
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