A B.C. Supreme Court justice has awarded a Sooke couple special legal costs over a protracted disputed share-purchase agreement over the Sooke Harbour House.
It’s the latest salvo in a case that pitted long-time Sooke Harbour House owners Frederique and Sinclair Philip against businessmen Timothy Durkin and Rodger Gregory over one of B.C.’s most renowned hotels.
In a ruling released this week, the court ordered Durkin and Gregory – the defendants – to pay special costs to be determined by the court registrar, after the Philips, the Philips Family Trust and Sooke Harbour House Inc. went back to court seeking more money for legal costs.
The Philips submitted an affidavit that their legal bills surpassed more than $1 million. Justice Jasvinder Basran ruled that the Philips were entitled to recover more costs.
Last fall, Justice Basran awarded the Philips more than $4 million for what he called a “six-year odyssey of lies, excuses, threats, intimidation and bullying” by Durkin and Gregory.
For more than 35 years, the Philips owned, operated, and built the hotel into a world-class destination.
They eventually decided to retire and worked on selling the property to Durkin and Gregory in March 2014.
“They (the Philip’s) thought they had found honest and reputable business people who would comply with their contractual obligations and pay for the hotel,” Basran said in his earlier judgement.
“The Philips’ reasonable expectation of a comfortable and well-deserved retirement has been effectively stolen from them because they unknowingly put their future in the hands of these two fundamentally dishonest individuals.”
The hotel was sold last year to a North Vancouver Company for $5.6 million. It is expected to reopen next spring.