Barclay family calls truce to end Ritz espionage case in high court | Barclay brothers

The billionaire Barclay family has declared a truce to end a high court battle over alleged “commercial espionage on a vast scale” that included the bugging of hundreds of personal conversations on the five-star Ritz resort.

Sir Frederick Barclay introduced on Friday that he had reached a settlement together with his nephews, who he was suing over the alleged secret bugging of the Ritz’s conservatory, the place he frequently held conferences together with his daughter Amanda.

“We are pleased that as a family we can put this difficult period behind us and now look forward to our future together,” the family stated in a joint assertion, which was first reported by the Financial Times. “In these troubled times, unity within families is more important than ever. We are grateful to all those who have helped us resolve this issue.”

Sir David Barclay, now deceased (left) and his twin brother Sir Frederick pose after receiving their knighthoods at Buckingham Palace in 2004. Photograph: Michael Stephens/AFP FILES/AFP/Getty Images

Barclay and his daughter had sued the sons of his late brother David, who died in January this year. They claimed the bugging was a breach of confidence, misuse of personal data and a breach of information safety rights.

The bugging got here to gentle when resort CCTV recordings appeared to present David’s son Alistair – a former racing automobile driver – installing an “elaborate system of covert recording” in the conservatory. The listening machine was disguised as a plug adaptor, the court had heard.

The defendants in the case – Alistair, Aidan and Howard Barclay, and Aidan’s son Andrew – had provided to pay damages final year. The family didn’t reveal if a monetary settlement had been agreed as a part of the peace deal.

Desmond Browne QC, representing Sir Frederick and Amanda Barclay, had informed the court final year that: “We all remember Tolstoy saying ‘each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way’. Here, the children of Sir Frederick and Sir David have been at odds … concerning the family trusts, and cousin, sadly, has been pitched against cousin.”

The settlement comes quickly after Sir Frederick, 86, was ordered to pay a £100m divorce payout to his ex-wife Lady Hiroko Barclay. The choose, who described Frederick’s behaviour as “reprehensible”, ordered him to pay £50m of the settlement inside six months.

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Barclay and his brother, Sir David Barclay, had been among the many richest and most high-profile business folks in the nation. The brothers’ empire stretched from the mother or father company of the Telegraph and Spectator to the net retailer Very – beforehand referred to as Shop Direct, and earlier than that Littlewoods – and the supply agency Yodel.

They additionally owned the Ritz resort till they offered it for £800m final year to a Qatari billionaire.

The brothers principally lived in a citadel on the island of Brecqhou in the Channel Islands. They purchased the 32-hectare (80-acre) island for nearly £3.5m. The Mayfair property agent advert had described it as spectacular, highlighting options reminiscent of a stone manor home, a non-public harbour and a helipad. Ownership additionally got here with “tax-free status”.

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