multi-millionaire TV property developer has launched a High Court appeal against an “obscene” £740,000 payment awarded to a celebrity nail artist who bought a house from him that was plagued with damp.
Iranian-born Kam Babaee, who has appeared in shows such as Channel 4’s Britain’s Most Expensive Houses, and Channel 5 production Sally Lindsay’s Posh Sleepover, is locked in a bitter legal battle with star nail technician Leighton Denny, whose clients have included Kate Moss, Penélope Cruz and Adele.
The dispute centres around the sale of a £1.2 million newly-built home in Chiswick in 2015 by Mr Babaee’s firm K10 Developments, which normally specialises in luxury refurbishments of London mansions.
The house, built on land owned by Mr Babaee on the site of a former Ferrari showroom, quickly suffered water damage that made one of its bedrooms unusable. Mr Denny began a claim against the developer and K10 in July 2019.
Last April he was awarded £549,773.90 damages for the damp plus £180,000 costs by Judge Richard Pearce.
A claim against the builders of the house, Connor Construction, was dropped.
Now, Mr Babaee has lodged an appeal claiming he was not responsible for the defects and that the faults were due to alleged failings in the damp proof membrane system.
He has also brought a counter claim against Mr Denny, whose nail care products are stocked in Marks & Spencer and John Lewis, over the amount of remedial work he carried out on the property before bringing the legal action.
Mr Babaee said: “K10 has decided to progress with this appeal since the K10 brand has been very wrongly implicated in the case over the construction and defects at the property in Chiswick, when in actual fact K10 never built the house and was not involved in the design and construction of the property in any way.
“The house was built by Connor Construction, with independent architects and project management signing off once everything had been completed.”
Mr Babaee, whose projects include the renovation of ballet star Dame Margot Fonteyn’s former London residence Amberwood House in Knightsbridge, added: “This has all been very painful because my motto has always been to build a legacy.
“The award is an obscene, painful amount of money and, as things stand, there has been an unbelievable injustice.”
Mr Denny, who opened his first London nail salon in 1998 oin Marylebone High Street and was awarded the MBE in 2014, said: “I am aware that Mr Babaee is courting press coverage of the litigation between us.
“That litigation has been resolved successfully and in my favour.
“Mr Babaee has not met the debt he was ordered to pay and although he has lodged an appeal, he has not as yet been given permission by the court to advance that.
“I am actively seeking to enforce the court award through my solicitor.”
Connor Construction were contacted for a comment.