Tycoon Sir Frederick Barclay settles long-running dispute over wiretapped Ritz Hotel meetings

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The billionaire Barclay family today declared a truce in their bitter row over wiretapping private companies at the Ritz hotel.

The family announced today that they have settled the “corporate espionage” legal battle at the Supreme Court.

Billionaire property magnate Sir Frederick Barclay – whose business empire includes the parent company of the Daily Telegraph – was involved in a dispute with three of his late brother Sir David’s sons.

It was more than 94 hours of secret footage shot at the prestigious Ritz hotel in London – then part of the brothers’ business empire.

His lawyers previously described the wiretapping as part of “large-scale commercial espionage.”

The Supreme Court had previously heard that Aidan, Howard and Alistair had secretly filmed the London monument over several months.

However, the family said on Friday that the matter had been settled.

In a joint statement, the family said: “We are happy that we as a family can put this difficult period behind us and now look forward to our future together.

Billionaire property magnate Sir Frederick Barclay (pictured left in 2004 with his now-deceased twin brother Sir David Barclay) – whose business empire includes the parent company of the Daily Telegraph – was involved in a dispute with three of his late brother Sir David’s sons

It was more than 94 hours of secret footage shot at the Ritz (pictured) - then part of the brothers' business empire

It was more than 94 hours of secret footage shot at the Ritz (pictured) – then part of the brothers’ business empire

The Supreme Court had previously heard that Aidan, Howard and Alistair had secretly filmed the London monument over several months.  Pictured: A camera image that appears to show Alistair Barclay placing a hidden recording device in the conservatory of the Ritz Hotel

The Supreme Court had previously heard that Aidan, Howard and Alistair had secretly filmed the London monument over several months. Pictured: A camera image that appears to show Alistair Barclay placing a hidden recording device in the conservatory of the Ritz Hotel

‘In these troubled times, unity within families is more important than ever.

“We are grateful to everyone who helped us solve this problem.”

Sir Frederick, 86, and daughter Amanda had taken legal action against the three brothers, Aidan’s son Andrew and Philip Peters, a director of a number of family businesses, after the ‘extensive secret recording system’ came to light in January 2020.

At a hearing last year, the couple’s lawyers claimed The Ritz had been sold for ‘half the market price’ after talks between Sir Frederick and a Saudi investor who offered £1.3 billion for the hotel were secretly recorded. .

Sir Frederick, 86, and daughter Amanda (pictured here in 2009 with dancer Anton Du Beke) had filed legal proceedings

Sir Frederick, 86, and daughter Amanda (pictured here in 2009 with dancer Anton Du Beke) had filed legal proceedings

All five had admitted that “the recordings contain plaintiffs’ private and confidential information.”

They also accepted that Sir Frederick and Amanda are “entitled to general damages” for breach of trust, misuse of private information and violation of data protection laws.

However, in their formal defense, they argued that they considered it “necessary and reasonable” to wiretap The Ritz to protect the Barclay Group.

The settlement comes about a month after Sir Frederick’s divorce is said to be finalized.

Sir Frederick and Lady Hiroko Barclay had fought in a private trial in the Family Division of the High Court earlier this year after the breakdown of a 34-year marriage.

Mr Justice Cohen ruled that Lady Hiroko should receive lump sums totaling £100 million.

In the same ruin, he also reprimanded the owner of the Telegraph for selling a luxury yacht and keeping the proceeds for himself.

Justice Cohen said Sir Frederick sold a luxury yacht and “used the equity for his own use” in violation of orders – something he described as “reproachable” in his ruling.

The lawsuit has been brought against the three brothers, Aidan (right), Howard (left) and Alistair, Aidan's son Andrew and Philip Peters, directors of a number of family businesses

The lawsuit has been brought against the three brothers, Aidan (right), Howard (left) and Alistair, Aidan’s son Andrew and Philip Peters, directors of a number of family businesses

The settlement comes about a month after Sir Frederick's divorce is said to be finalized.  Sir Frederick and Lady Hiroko Barclay (pictured left) had fought in a private trial in the Family Division of the High Court earlier this year, after the breakdown of a 34-year marriage

The settlement comes about a month after Sir Frederick’s divorce is said to be finalized. Sir Frederick and Lady Hiroko Barclay (pictured left) had fought in a private trial in the Family Division of the High Court earlier this year, after the breakdown of a 34-year marriage

He added: ‘Part of (Sir Frederick’s) available assets included a luxury yacht for sale.

‘I’ve done assignments to control the sale and use of the proceeds. He ignored those orders completely, sold the yacht and used the equity for his own use.

“I found that behavior reprehensible.”

Sir Frederick and his twin brother Sir David were among the UK’s foremost businessmen until Sir David’s death, aged 86. in January.

Their interests included the Telegraph Newspaper Group – the parent group of the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Telegraph.

The family also has ties to the Channel Islands and Monaco. Earlier this year, the Times Rich List placed the Barclay family as the wealthiest in the Channel Islands, despite losing £1bn from last year.

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