05 July 2023

Sir Frederick Barclay having difficulties ‘arranging money’, judge told

05 July 2023

Retired businessman Sir Frederick Barclay is trying to settle a long-running fight with his ex-wife but having difficulties “arranging money”, a judge has been told.

Sir Frederick’s “right-hand man” told Sir Jonathan Cohen on Wednesday how he was waiting for money arrive in an account.

Adviser Martin Clarke told Sir Jonathan that the situation was “very unfortunate”.

A lawyer representing Lady Hiroko Barclay said she was being told that “cheques” were “in the post”.

Barrister Stewart Leech KC, who described Mr Clarke as Sir Frederick’s “right-hand man”, told the judge: “It really has to end.”

Sir Jonathan was overseeing the latest stage of a fight between Sir Frederick, 88, and Lady Barclay, who is also in her 80s, at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

In May 2021, he had ordered Sir Frederick to hand Lady Barclay lump sums totalling £100 million following the breakdown of their 34-year marriage.

Sir Jonathan, who has heard that the money has yet to be paid, said then that Sir Frederick had behaved in a “reprehensible” fashion during the litigation.

The judge had been told on Tuesday that the pair had been “trying to resolve the matter” and needed more time.

He was told on Wednesday that money had yet to be handed to Lady Barclay.

“I was expecting money yesterday (Tuesday),” Mr Clarke told the judge on Wednesday.

“Arranging money has been very, very difficult in these times – against the backdrop of what is going on.”

He added: “This is very unfortunate.”

Sir Jonathan said he would reconsider the case on Friday.

Mr Leech told Sir Jonathan: “It really has to end this week.

“There really cannot be any more cheques in the post, which is what we have been told for some time.”

Lady Barclay, who petitioned for divorce on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour, has complained Sir Frederick had not paid her as ordered – and alleged that he was in contempt of court.

Sir Jonathan subsequently ruled that Sir Frederick was in contempt as a result of failing to pay about £245,000 he owed his ex-wife for legal fees and maintenance.

Sir Frederick and his twin brother, Sir David Barclay, were among the UK’s most high-profile businessmen.

Sir David died aged 86 in January 2021.

Their interests included the Telegraph Media Group and The Ritz hotel in London.

The family also has links to the Channel Islands and Monaco.

Sir Jonathan has been told that Sir David’s sons Aidan and Howard Barclay now have day-to-day responsibility for “group business”.

In June, news emerged that the Daily and Sunday Telegraph and The Spectator magazine were set to be put up for sale after talks between their owners and lenders collapsed.

It came after the Barclay family denied that the business could face administration.

Barrister Max Turnell, who represented Sir Frederick, told the judge that his client was “not the hold up”.

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