Famed litigator David Boies has sold his Manhattan residence at the Sherry-Netherland, an upscale hotel and co-op apartment building near the southeast corner of Central Park, with the property reportedly fetching nearly $6 million more than he paid for it about a decade ago.
Not so for Boies’ Sherry-Netherland neighbor, exiled Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui.
Guo—a onetime client of Boies Schiller Flexner embroiled in multimillion-dollar malpractice and fee litigation with the firm—has been trying, off and on, to sell his penthouse unit in the 38-floor building since 2015, asking as much as $86 million at one point.
As The Real Deal first reported, an anonymous buyer paid $13.6 million for what had been Boies’ 35th floor apartment at the Sherry-Netherland, which he purchased in 2009 for $7.75 million. (Boies has a primary residence north of Manhattan in Armonk, New York.) The sale comes as his firm is poised to move its New York office to a building at the newly constructed Hudson Yards project on Manhattan’s west side.
The sale means Boies is leaving behind an address he shared with Guo, a real estate tycoon and Chinese dissident who’s also known as Miles Kwok, ever since Guo reportedly paid $67.5 million for his 18th floor residence in 2015. But Boies and others at his firm may still rub shoulders with Guo in a Manhattan courtroom.
Between May 2017 and December 2017, Guo had tapped a team at Boies’ firm, led by Boies Schiller partner Joshua Schiller, to represent him in a series of litigation matters. But the relationship soured and prompted an arbitration proceeding in which Boies Schiller alleged that Guo owed more than $640,000 in legal fees. Boies Schiller prevailed and, in November, asked a New York state supreme court to uphold an arbitrator’s ruling on the fee dispute.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Barry Ostrager ruled in Boies Schiller’s favor on Wednesday, awarding the firm a total of $653,837.93 in fees and interest. That judgment came after Guo failed to respond to Boies Schiller’s petition to enforce the arbitration award.
Although Guo ignored the arbitration petition, he hasn’t backed down. He lodged a complaint in late December seeking $3.06 million in damages for legal malpractice, alleging that the law firm and Schiller—who’s the son of Boies Schiller co-founder Jonathan Schiller—were unprofessional during their legal work for Guo. Boies and his firm have denied those allegations, with Boies saying in early January that they were “totally frivolous.”