Multi-millionaire’s chauffeur who ‘let a friend take his boss’ £380,000 Ferrari for a spin’ and crashed it faces ‘David vs Goliath’ court battle
- Chauffeur Allen Sicurella worked for millionaire Richard Hanson for 17 years
- He was fired after Mr Hanson’s Ferrari was damaged in 2019 in Hampshire
- Mr Sicurella now faces paying £478,000 in damages and lawyers’ bills in court
A multi-millionaire’s chauffeur accused of letting a friend take his boss’ £380,000 Ferrari for a spin and crashing it is facing a ‘David vs Goliath’ court battle.
The court heard Allen Sicurella worked for millionaire Richard Hanson for 17 years until the pair fell out when Mr Hanson accused him of letting a friend drive and crash his rare Ferrari.
The case was set out at London’s High Court, which heard Mr Sicurella’s friend Raymond Zarb accused of crashing the £380,000 Ferrari 458 Speciale in Hampshire in 2019.
Private equity chief Mr Hanson – who is worth £90million and whose son Philip is a successful racing driver – fired his chauffeur, then hauled him and Mr Zarb to court seeking compensation for the £290,000 damage he claimed was done to his vehicle.
The claim against Mr Zarb was ‘settled at an early stage’ but the claim against the chauffeur could end up costing him a ‘crippling’ £478,000 in damages and lawyers’ bills, the court heard.
Mr Sicurella flatly denies letting his friend drive the Ferrari and says the fact that Mr Zarb’s crash injuries were mainly on the left side of his face supports his claim.
Allen Sicurella, who is being sued by his former boss Richard Hanson over crash of his Ferrari
The case was set out at London ‘s High Court, which heard Mr Sicurella’s friend Raymond Zarb accused of crashing the £380,000 Ferrari 458 Speciale in Hampshire in 2019
Mr Sicurella flatly denies having let his friend drive the Ferrari and says the fact that Mr Zarb’s crash injuries were mainly on the left side of his face supports his claim
A source previously told The Sun: ‘It’s a battle of David versus Goliath. The sums of money involved in this case are huge.
‘The driver lost his job and is now facing a huge financial struggle to fight the case. He could lose everything.’
At the High Court, Mr Sicurella’s barrister, Angus Gloag, said it was an accident.
He said: ‘It’s claimed that Mr Zarb crashed it, but Mr Sicurella’s case is that he was legitimately driving it, and there was an accident and that’s that.
‘He says Mr Zarb was in the passenger seat.’
Judge Victoria McCloud heard that after repeatedly failing to disclose key evidence within a deadline set by the High Court, Mr Sicurella’s defence had been ‘struck out’ in November 2021 and he was told to pay out £67,484 in damages.
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But last week, Mr Gloag asked for permission to resurrect Mr Sicurella’s defence and fight the multimillionaire’s claim.
If he loses, another £66,000 will be added to his £345,000 court costs, leaving the chauffeur with a £478,000 bill.
Mr Gloag said: ‘The £67,000 judgement is dwarfed by costs of hundreds of thousands of pounds. This will cripple him and the impact is devastating for his family.’
Mr Hanson currently has a £412,000 ‘charging order’ held over Mr Sicurella’s £800,000 family home because of the costs order against him, the judge heard.
Following a short hearing, Judge McCloud agreed to reinstate his defence and allow the trial to go ahead, but told him he must provide financial guarantees to ensure he can cover the estimated £66,000 extra costs of a two-day trial.
The judge noted the long delay involved in the case and the fact that reviving the case will rob Mr Hanson of ‘the benefit of certainty and the conclusion of the litigation’.
But she added: ‘This case was going to trial and Mr Sicurella was going to have his day in court.
‘It seems to me there is sufficient merit on the arguable facts of the case that on balance justice wouldn’t be done by denying the right to defend.’
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