Tidy up for the Queen, says judge
Published 06/12/2011 | 17:17
A judge asked lawyers to tidy a courtroom housing one of the UK's biggest civil trials because the Queen is due to visit.
The Queen is scheduled to see the courtroom where Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky and Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich are staging a £3 billion legal battle on Wednesday during a visit to the Royal Courts of Justice in central London.
Judge Mrs Justice Gloster told barristers that she would be "grateful" if they tidied up in readiness.
The Queen will officially open the Rolls Building - the latest addition to the Royal Courts of Justice complex - during her visit.
Courts have been sitting in the Rolls Building for several weeks but will not sit while the Queen is there for the official opening ceremony.
Mrs Justice Gloster said lawyers could leave files in Court 26 of the building but explained: "I would be grateful if you could tidy it up because this is one of the rooms into which Her Majesty is actually coming to see."
She added: "I would like to have everything here because it looks a bit more real world, but I think if you could just sort of tidy it up a tiny bit."
Mr Berezovsky, 65, is suing Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich, 45, for billions of pounds in a trial at the Commercial Court in London.
He claims that Mr Abramovich "betrayed" him and "intimidated" him into selling shares in Russian oil company Sibneft for a "mere 1.3 billion" US dollars (£800 million) - "a fraction of their true worth". Mr Berezovsky alleges breach of trust and breach of contract, and is claiming more than £3 billion in damages.
Mr Abramovich denies the allegations and denies that Mr Berezovsky is entitled to damages. He says Mr Berezovsky was paid millions of pounds for his services as a "political godfather", but was not a business partner.