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07 September 2023

Sir Frederick Barclay told to keep ex-wife updated on money-raising efforts

07 September 2023

Retired businessman Sir Frederick Barclay has been ordered to keep his ex-wife up to date on what efforts are being made to raise money he owes her.

A judge who has overseen a long-running High Court fight over money said in August that Lady Hiroko Barclay, had been left in an “extraordinary” position.

Sir Jonathan Cohen said 88-year-old Sir Frederick, who had been one of Britain’s “most successful businessmen”, owed Lady Barclay, who is also in her 80s, £100 million.

He said Lady Barclay had been left “hanging by a thread”, not knowing whether she could pay bills.

The judge had aired his thoughts after the latest in a series of hearings in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

He has now released detail of a written order, approved after that hearing, in which he says either Sir Frederick, or his lawyers, must provide regular updates on efforts being made to raise money owed.

Sir Jonathan says he wants fortnightly updates on “what efforts” have been made “in respect of obtaining monies” to meet Sir Frederick’s “obligations” to Lady Barclay.

In May 2021, Sir Jonathan ordered Sir Frederick to hand Lady Barclay £100 million after the breakdown of their 34-year marriage.

The judge has heard that Sir Frederick has not paid.

Lady Barclay had argued that Sir Frederick was in contempt because he had breached court orders to pay her the £100 million.

She also argued that he had breached an order to pay her about £245,000 he owed for her legal fees and maintenance.

Sir Jonathan ruled that Sir Frederick was not in contempt as a result of not handing over the £100 million, or a first instalment of £50 million.

He concluded that Lady Barclay had not proved that Sir Frederick had the means to pay either amount.

But the judge ruled that Sir Frederick was in contempt as a result of not paying the £245,000 he owed for legal fees and maintenance.

The judge concluded that Sir Frederick had the means to pay the £245,000.

Sir Frederick had subsequently paid the £245,000.

The judge decided not to impose any punishment for that contempt.

He said he had to take into account the fact that the £245,000 had been paid – and Sir Frederick’s age.

But he said Lady Barclay was still owed £100 million and raised concerns about her plight.

Sir Frederick and his twin brother Sir David, who died aged 86 in January 2021, were among the UK’s most high-profile businessmen.

Their interests included Telegraph Media Group and The Ritz hotel in London, while the family also has links to the Channel Islands and Monaco.

The judge  heard that the twins had made financial arrangements several years ago which meant that Sir David’s sons Aidan and Howard Barclay now had day-to-day responsibility for “group business”.

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