Hotels case victory for Barclay brothers

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A PROPERTY developer has lost a High Court battle with two of the UK’s best-known businessmen.

Patrick McKillen, who comes from Belfast but is based in Dublin, was fighting Sir David Barclay and his twin Sir Frederick over control of a £1bn company which owns three of London’s most famous hotels.

A judge in London ruled against Mr McKillen yesterday, following a trial spanning more than two months.

All three men were investors in Coroin – the company which owns and manages Claridge’s, the Connaught and the Berkeley hotels.

Mr McKillen claimed that “company affairs” were conducted in a “manner unfairly prejudicial to his interests”.

The Barclay brothers disputed Mr McKillen’s claims and said his allegations were designed to “tarnish” their reputations and “embarrass” them.

In a lengthy written ruling, Mr Justice David Richards announced that two sets of proceedings brought by Mr McKillen “fail and will be dismissed”.

In a statement issued on their behalf, the Barclays welcomed the ruling.

Richard Faber, speaking on behalf of the Barclay interests, said: “We are delighted that today’s judgment has completely vindicated the Barclay interests’ position and brought to an end this unnecessary and distracting dispute.

“After 30 days in court the judge has looked in detail at every aspect of Mr McKillen’s case, and has found it to be without any merit.

“It should never have been necessary for the Barclay interests to defend these baseless proceedings, which we always believed were an attempt by Mr McKillen to tarnish the Barclay interests’ reputation in the misconceived hope that they would then sell out to him.

“The High Court has now confirmed what we always knew to be the case: that the Barclay family and its interests have always behaved entirely lawfully and properly in their business dealings.”

A statement issued later on behalf of Mr McKillen said he “firmly believes in his claim and is obviously considering an appeal”.