An estate agent who claimed entitlement to a 25 per cent share of the profits made by the builders of a prestige hotel and apartment development – on the basis that he introduced them to the project – has had his case dismissed. There had been no binding agreement that he would be paid for his role as introducer on a percentage basis nor that he would be otherwise remunerated, the High Court ruled.
The estate agent argued that he had been instrumental in the builders becoming part of a consortium that renovated and refurbished central London’s St Pancras Station, converting the Sir George Gilbert Scott-designed Victorian Gothic structure into a new hotel with luxury flats on the upper storeys.
It was submitted that he was entitled to a share of profits on a ‘straightforward contractual basis’ having introduced the builders to the development opportunity. Alternatively, he claimed a restitutionary entitlement by way of ‘quantum meruit’ -,i,e,fair payment for the work done – for the services that he was alleged to have provided.
Dismissing both claims, the Court found on the evidence that a purported oral agreement that the estate agent would be paid an introduction fee in the form or a percentage of the builders’ net profits had in fact never been made. Even had there been such an agreement, he had not been a party to it.
The court also noted that the project that had in fact been carried out was very different from that which was under consideration at the time of the estate agent’s involvement. His claim for a quantum meruit was dependent upon the builders having carried out the development to which they had been introduced by him and there was nothing unjust about him not being remunerated.