Overseas Perspective: costly interference

It sounds like the start of a bad joke: a story involving two nuns, Katy Perry, and a convent. But it was no laughing matter when a Los Angeles Court last month ordered a local business woman, Mrs Hollister, to cough up compensation to Katy Perry to the tune of $5 million.

Katy Perry had been negotiating with the Catholic Church for the purchase of a former convent located in a central Los Angeles neighbourhood. Mrs Hollister got wind of this and tried to do a private deal on the side with two nuns who had, until recently, lived in the convent. The had been outraged at the prospect of the convent being sold to, shock horror, Katy Perry, and Mrs Hollister was able to profit from this outrage and to convince them that they had legal title to the convent and were therefore able to sell the property to her and to ignore the true owners, the Catholic Church. Katy Perry found out about this, and the Court subsequently declared that Mrs Hollister’s actions were manipulative and deceitful and that she had deliberately interfered with contractual relations between Katy Perry and the Catholic Church. A bad day for the nuns. And an even worse day for Mrs Hollister.
This article features in the Hughes Paddison Winter 2017 Property Disputes Update. You can view a summary of the full content of the newsletter and download a copy here.