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Richest Channel Islander settles family dispute over hotel bugging

Richest Channel Islander settles family dispute over hotel bugging

Tuesday 08 June 2021

Richest Channel Islander settles family dispute over hotel bugging


The richest family in the Channel Islands has agreed to end a bitter legal civil war over alleged commercial espionage.

The Breqhou-based billionaire Sir Frederick Barclay, who built up a media, property and internet empire with his late twin Sir David, has settled a case against his nephews over alleged bugging at the Ritz, the London hotel he owned, where he would regularly hold meetings with his daughter.

Sir Frederick and his daughter, Amanda, had sued the sons of Sir David – Alistair, Aidan and Howard Barclay, together with Aidan’s son Andrew – claiming that the bugging was a breach of confidence and data protection rights and a misuse of private information.

In a joint-statement, first reported in the Financial Times at the weekend, the family said: “We are pleased that as a family we can put this difficult period behind us and now look forward to our future together.

“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.”

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Pictured: The sons of Sir David Barclay were accused of placing a listening device in the conservatory of the Ritz in London.

Last month, St Frederick was again in the UK high court, where he was ordered to pay his estranged wife Lady Hiroko £100m as part of divorce proceedings. The judge described him as having behaved in a "reprehensible" way because he ignored curt orders to put the proceeds of a luxury yacht sale towards his divorce payments - with the billionaire instead keeping the money for himself.

86-year-old Sir Frederick and Sir David, who died in January, bought the sixth-largest Channel Island in 1993 for around £3.5m and built a Gothic-style castle, complete with two helipads, extensive gardens and a small harbour.

This year, following Sir David’s passing, it was reported that the tax-free island could be on the market.  

The recently published Sunday Times Rich List estimated the Barclay family to have a £6bn fortune, making them 28th wealthiest in the British Isles. This was £1bn down on 2020, according to the newspaper. 

Although the Ritz was sold last year for £800m, the family still own the Daily Telegraph and Spectator magazine, among other titles. 

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