Barclay’s nephews said it was “necessary and reasonable” to disturb Ritz | Media


The nephews of Sir Frederick Barclay said they considered it “necessary and reasonable” to annoy the conservatory at the Ritz hotel after fearing that the conduct of their billionaire uncle could damage the family business empire, according to documents filed with the High Court.Barclay, 85, and daughter Amanda sue three sons of twin brother Sir David Barclay – Alistair, Aidan and Howard, and son of Aidan Andrew – more than 1,000 secret conversations recorded at the hotel Ritz over several months.

The High Court has heard that the “elaborate secret recording system” was revealed in January when Alistair Barclay was filmed on CCTV “manipulating the bug on the Ritz’s veranda”. Last month, Sir Frederick released the footage to the media and said the Ritz was sold for “half the market price,” with a discussion of a £ 1.3 billion deal with Sidra Capital, based in Saudi Arabia, which would have been among the records.

The written defense, filed Monday, claims that Alistair began wiretapping without the knowledge of the other accused, including Aidan Barclay, president of the editor of the Daily and Sunday Telegraph.

Alistair placed a “standard check-in device,” which documents say he bought over the counter at a store in central London on November 6. The defense document claims that Alistair used wiretapping after being “concerned about what appeared to him to be a remarkable change in their conduct, which posed a significant risk of harm to his brothers Aidan and Howard Barclay, at group, their interests (that is, their brothers and the group) and their own interests. On November 13, all accused were aware of the wiretapping operation.

A screenshot appears to show Alistair Barclay placing a secret recording device on the veranda of the Ritz Hotel. Photograph: Sir Frederick Barclay / PA

Heather Rogers QC said on Monday that the defendants considered it “necessary and reasonable” to bug the Ritz to protect the family and their business interests. The Barclay brothers’ empire, controlled by Aidan and Howard, also includes delivery company Yodel and online retailer Very Group. The 114-year-old Ritz was sold earlier this year by Sir David’s family side to a Qatari businessman for around £ 750 million.

The defendants admitted that “the tapes contained the applicants’ private and confidential information” and acknowledged that Sir Fredrick and Amanda were entitled to general damages for breach of trust, abuse of private information and violation of privacy laws. data. “The defendants will seek to agree on appropriate damages with the plaintiffs,” said Rogers. However, they deny that their actions caused a loss to the applicants’ economic and / or financial interests.

Sir Frederick and Sir David are no longer beneficiaries of the family trust, and Amanda is left with a 25% share but without the right to vote to block any decision. Aidan and Howard control and direct Ellerman Holdings, the British asset holding company of Barclays.

“As clearly stated in our defense, we do not dispute that the recordings were made and discussed among us,” said a spokesperson for the accused. “The measures we have taken are the result of serious concern about certain aspects of Sir Frederick’s conduct and have been taken in the belief that they were necessary and reasonable to protect the business interests of the Barclay group from potential damage.

“We have never made public and never intended to make the recorded information public. We have not conspired to harm the commercial or financial interests of Sir Frederick or Amanda. It was never our intention and there was no conspiracy as alleged. We regret any distress caused to Sir Frederick and Amanda Barclay, but our intention has always been to act in the best interest of the whole family. “


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