Property developer adds Lord Goldsmith to court fight with Barclay brothers

Debevoise & Plimpton partner Peter Goldsmith QC has been brought in to property developer Patrick McKillen’s defence team as he appeals a case against the Barclay brothers.

McKillen’s lawyers, Herbert Smith Freehills partners John Whiteoak and Kevin Lloyd, have added the former Attorney General to the existing team of Serle Court’s Philip Marshall QC and Ruth den Besten, and 4 Stone Buildings’ Richard Hill QC and Gregory Denton-Cox.

The line-up lost a September 2012 High Court battle with billionaire brothers Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay over control of the luxury Maybourne Hotel Group, which includes luxury London hotel Claridge’s (10 August 2012)

The Court of Appeal (CoA) has begun hearing McKillen’s challenge, which claims that Mr Justice David Richards was wrong in reaching decisions over agreements made.

Peter Goldsmith QC
Peter Goldsmith QC

Lady Justice Arden, Lord Justice Moore-Bick and Lord Justice Rimer at the CoA are hearing arguments from both sides at a hearing due to end this week.

McKillen is already facing an estimated £20m costs bill, even with costs being assessed on a standard basis (17 September 2012).

McKillen sued the Barclays, their companies and some nominee directors, alleging dishonesty in preventing him from buying more shares to gain control of the Maybourne Hotel Group.

In the High Court the Barclay brothers were represented by Weil Gotshal & Manges litigation practice head Matthew Shankland.

Derek Quinlan, leader of an investment group that bought the hotel group in 2004, was also accused of being involved in the conspiracy. He was represented by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan partners Richard East and Matthew Bunting.

Costs for Weil Gotshal and counsel on behalf of the brothers and their companies were put at £8.5m at a hearing before Mr Justice Richards last year. Quinn Emanuel’s costs were estimated at £4.6m. Costs for Ashurst, which represented directors of the Barclay brothers, and counsel, were thought to be around £2.1m at the High Court stage.

The National Asset Management Agency (Nama) – sued for selling the debt to the Barclays and represented by Hogan Lovells – put its costs at £750,000. Herbert Smith’s costs were estimated as £4.5m.