Tuesday 12 December 2017

McKillen to pay costs as he loses latest Barclays case

Paddy McKillen: another setback in legal battle against the Barclay brothers
Paddy McKillen: another setback in legal battle against the Barclay brothers

Shane Hickey

PROPERTY developer Paddy McKillen has suffered another defeat in the British courts in his lengthy legal battle with the billionaire Barclay brothers over the control of three landmark London hotels.

The Supreme Court in London has rejected a bid by the businessman to appeal a decision against him by another court over the future of Coroin, the €1.2bn company that owns Claridge's, the Connaught and the Berkeley hotels.

The latest ruling from the courts closes another door for Mr McKillen in his marathon legal action against David and Frederick Barclay, the owners of the Ritz hotel and the Telegraph newspaper group.

The two sides have been locked in confrontation across the British legal system since last year over the control of the three prestigious hotels.

In August 2012, the High Court in London ruled against Mr McKillen when he claimed financier Derek Quinlan and the Barclays breached clauses in the shareholders' agreement.

Mr Quinlan's 35.5pc share of Coroin is in the control of the Barclays after the brothers secured the shareholding from NAMA in 2011. Mr McKillen holds 36.2pc of the company.

In July of this year, the Court of Appeal in London dismissed an appeal by Mr McKillen against the judgment.

OPTIONS

His legal team then went to the Supreme Court, which this week rejected a bid to appeal the decision.

"The court ordered that permission to appeal be refused, because the application does not raise a point of law of general public importance which ought to be considered by the Supreme Court at this time bearing in mind that the case has already been the subject of judicial decision and reviewed on appeal," the judgment from the three-judge panel of the Supreme Court said. Costs were awarded against Mr McKillen.

After the judgment was released, a spokesman for Mr McKillen said: "Quite honestly we are amazed and disappointed with the Supreme Court's decision. We are following other legal options open to us."

The spokesman did not elaborate on what the other legal options would be.

The on-going battle between the Barclays and Mr McKillen has been one of the most rancorous and high-profile court battles of recent years.

It brought in figures from across the worlds of finance, politics and entertainment – including Bono and Tony Blair – over the lengthy hearings.

Mr McKillen has claimed Mr Quinlan's share of the business should have been offered to him under a clause in the shareholders' agreement – a pre-emption agreement.

But Judge David Richards last year said there had been no agreements made between the Barclays and Mr Quinlan which breached the pre-emption provisions.

In the Court of Appeal judgement from the summer, Lady Justice Mary Arden said the pre-emption provisions in the shareholders' agreement had not been breached and dismissed the appeal.

Irish Independent

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