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FEBRUARY 2010
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www.opp.org.uk International Property Reporter
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Stephen Harris & 0044 (0)208 439 9572 8 stephen.h@opp.org.uk
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9
NORTHERN CYPRUS
North Cyprus agents ‘could face legal action’
NEWS IN BRIEF
INDUSTR
New accusations for Hilton
Starwood Hotels & Resorts has filed
Agents who have sold property in
new allegations against executives
at Hilton Worldwide in a corporate
northern Cyprus could face legal action
Y
espionage case. Starwood first sued
following a landmark ruling in the UK
Hilton and two former Hilton executives
Court of Appeal.
in April 2009, accusing the pair of ex-
Last month’s judgement against Starwood employees of stealing secret
British couple David and Linda Orams
documents to speed the company’s
established that the legal claim of Greek
launch into the lifestyle hotel market.
On Thursday 14 January, Starwood filed
Cypriots to land in the north that had
an amended complaint claiming that
been illegally sold on to foreign citizens
at least five of Hilton’s ten-member
PEOPLE
would be enforced in the UK. Opening the floodgates
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The Orams ruling could result in hundreds more cases
executive committee, including CEO
The case is expected to pave the way Christopher Nassetta and head of global
for hundreds of similar claims against or misrepresentation and acting either under the Turkish administration then
development, Steven Goldman, knew
British citizens who bought property negligently or fraudulently. We would you’ve got a problem.”
about the alleged theft. Hilton has so
far declined to comment but at the
in the Turkish-controlled part of the need a test case against an agent to Enver Karakaya of developer
time of the original allegations in April
country. Some of the blame could be resolve the question and I’m sure there NorthernLand Construction told OPP
said the lawsuit was without merit and
placed on those agents and developers will be one.” that, while not all land in the north
the company would fight it vigorously.
involved in the sale, particularly if the is disputed, the Orams ruling would Neither Nassetta nor Goldman is named
Brits bought in good faith. Market collapse make things harder for the construction
as a defendant in the complaint.
DESTINA
“It leaves agents potentially in Many Greek Cypriots fled when the industry. Commenting on the future of
UK nationals arrested in Bali
the firing line depending on what Turkish army took control of the north the market in the north, she said: “This
Two UK nationals were arrested in Bali
they’ve said and how they said it,” in 1974 and much of their land was rule will totally finish the sector.”
last month in relation to an allegedly
said Stefano Lucatello, senior partner then sold on by the Turkish-Cypriot A spokesperson for Turkish Cypriot
fraudulent property deal in the
TION
at The International Property Law administration that now controls the leader Mehmet Ali Talat told the Cyprus country. The two men were accused of
Centre. “Agents are in a very precarious area. “If the seller owned the land before Mail it would not implement the British
wrongdoing over the handling of funds
situation and could be brought into 1974, no problem,” said Lucatello. “But if ruling, saying Mr Apostolides must apply
for the purchase of land on Balangan
Beach, Bukit Jimbaran in South Bali,
the picture and attacked for misselling it was registered post-1974 in some form through the property commission.
following a criminal complaint made by
a Russian investor. The buyer allegedly
transferred RUB2 billion ($66 million)
LEGAL
vigorously.” Cushman & Wakefield has to the bank account of an Indonesian
made similar statements.
national who represented a private BUSINESS
Cushman &
The lawsuit was filed on Sunday
company and is also wanted by the
police. The Russian said he discovered
3 December in a US district court in
the Indonesian government owned the
Wakefield
able to pay back on the properties in the Idaho by L.J. Gibson and Beau Blixseth,
land and it was not for sale, but has not
US and the Bahamas so the bank could son of the developer of Yellowstone
received a refund.
take them over. Club in Montana. They are also seeking
hit by $24bn
Cushman & Wakefield allegedly used class action status for more than 3,000
OPP Awards to recognise
a method of appraisal that inflated the investors who bought property at
the best survivors of 2009
lawsuit
OPP is already working on categories for
resorts’ value, allowing Credit Suisse to Yellowstone, as well as Lake Las Vegas in
the 2010 OPP Industry Awards, which
collect large fees on the loans using a Nevada, Tamarack Resort in Idaho and
recognise the best in partnership and
Cayman Islands branch to circumvent Ginn sur Mer in the Bahamas.
innovation. Focusing on sales success
DE
Investors at four luxury resorts have filed federal law on real estate appraisals. Credit Suisse were first accused of in 2009, new packages and sales tools, VEL
a $24 billion lawsuit against Cushman & creating a “predatory” loan scheme
and the role of networks and alliances
OPER
Wakefield and Credit Suisse. ‘Without merit’ during Yellowstone’s bankruptcy
in generating and closing business,
the Awards will launch officially on 30
The two firms are accused of A spokesperson for Credit Suisse told proceedings in May 2009. The order
August. For details of last year’s winners
conspiring to encourage the developers OPP: “We believe the suit is without was later overturned when Yellowstone
and criteria, visit the dedicated web
to take out loans they would never be merit and we will defend ourselves reached a settlement with its creditors.
page at www.opp.org.uk/awards.asp.
NAR COMMUNITY SCHEME PROPERTY GIANT MERGER BG BANS CASH PAYMENTS
M
The National Association of Realtors has joined The world’s oldest real estate advisory firm, Drivers Bulgaria has passed a law banning cash payments ARKE
forces with the National Community Stabilization Jonas, has merged with ‘big four’ professional for property purchases in an attempt to increase
Trust to help rebuild American communities services company Deloitte. The new property firm, transparency in the sector. The country’s justice
TING
devastated by the foreclosure crisis. The partnership Drivers Jonas Deloitte, is expected to generate minister said the ban would boost tax revenue,
is part of a $6 billion government scheme to reclaim annual revenues of over £110 million and will employ increase the banks’ influence over deals and reduce
neighbourhoods hit by high levels of foreclosures. 700 staff. interest payments on loans.
FEB10_OPP_MAG.indd 9 28/01/2010 15:19
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