A case summary report from the London Court of Appeal’s Civil Division, has revealed the grounds on which Moran Yacht and Ship Inc. failed to appeal the judgment, passed in 2014 that dismissed the brokerage house’s claim to a £615,000 commission owed by Kirill Pisarev, 46, one of Russia’s youngest billionaires and owner of 4YOU.
The 47m motoryacht had been owned by Pisarev, with Moran Yacht and Ship Inc appointed as its exclusive charter broker in 2009. In May 2010, Alexander Miliavsky came aboard 4YOU, at the behest of a Moran employee, looking to charter and ‘expressed no interest in purchasing it,’ according the court summary.
Moran claimed that Miliavsky expressed a clear interest in the purchase in 2010, stating he had called it “the perfect yacht” for him.
4You (credit: Alex Andrews)
In September 2010, Pisarev instructed Moran to market the yacht for sale, which the company did as instructed. However, according to the summary, ‘no sale had been made by the time the chartering agreement was terminated in October 2011.
‘In January 2012, the first respondent [Pisarev] met X [Miliavsky] and offered the yacht for sale. X [Miliavsky] bought it for €19.8 million. The judge rejected the appellant’s [Moran] claim to commission on the sale, having found that there was no express or implied agreement for it to sell that yacht at the material time and, in any event, it was not the effective cause of the sale.”
Moran contended that there was an implied term in the charter agreement that if someone had been shown round the vessel as a potential charterer and then purchased it within two years, Moran was entitled to commission.
Moran’s appeal focussed on the apparent implication of the charter agreement. However, this contention, according to the court summary, failed for a number of reasons.
“The situations in which the respondents [Pisarev and Miliavsky] had to pay commission to the appellant [Moran] under the 2009 chartering agreement could not be expanded in that way. In any event, the appellant was unable to challenge the judge’s finding that it was not the cause of the sale. Moreover, the appellant had enjoyed excessive latitude in asserting its entitlement to commission: that point had never been pleaded and should not be allowed to be taken on appeal.”
Moran was denied the £615,000 and was asked to pay for Pisarev’s legal fees, a sum of around £65,000.