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Ex-wife calls for Brecqhou billionaire to be jailed in £50m fight

Ex-wife calls for Brecqhou billionaire to be jailed in £50m fight

Monday 06 December 2021

Ex-wife calls for Brecqhou billionaire to be jailed in £50m fight

Monday 06 December 2021

The ex-wife of Brecqhou billionaire twin Sir Frederick Barclay is calling for him to be jailed for allegedly failing to pay her £50m as part of their divorce settlement.

High Court judge Sir Jonathan Cohen ordered the reclusive 87-year-old business mogul to pay his estranged wife, Lady Hiroko Barclay, £100m in lump sums as part of their separation proceedings after 34 years together back in May.

At the time, Mr Justice Cohen slammed the Telegraph owner for ignoring an order to put the proceeds of a luxury yacht sale towards the divorce payments. He described his behaviour as “reprehensible”.

Just over six months later, Lady Hiroko is now claiming that Sir Frederick has failed to produce half of the sum owed to her and failed to produce documents. She argues that he is in contempt of court and should therefore face prison.

Details of her claim were heard at a preliminary online hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in which Sir Frederick’s lawyers indicated he would be defending against the claim.

Sir Frederick’s team also argued that the case should be heard privately, as it would involve discussion of finances, but Sir Jonathan rejected the argument, instead saying that it would be heard in public but suggesting that some elements could be covered with reporting restrictions.

The final hearing is due to take place next year.

The judge indicated that Sir Frederick may be able to attend remotely, allowing him to avoid travel due to his age.

Sir Frederick was one half of a business empire spanning media, retail and hospitality alongside his brother, Sir David, who passed away in January after a “short illness”.

The twins - who last year had a combined wealth of £7 billion - bought 32-hectare Brecqhou in 1993 and built their own fortress-come-mansion on the small Channel Island.

They previously owned The Ritz in London before it was sold last year, leading to a family feud that resulted in court proceedings.

The case involved allegations that Sir David’s sons had bugged the Ritz conservatory in what was described in court as “commercial espionage on a vast scale."

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