Manches is leading the claim against two senior Iraqi ambassadors who have been accused by a former business partner of breaching their fiduciary duty.
The Iraqi ambassador to the United Nations, Talib Hadi Hamid Al-Bayati, and the Iraqi ambassador to Iran, Mohammed Majeed Abbas Al-Shaik, have been accused by childhood friend Ali Abd Al Hussein Habib Alhaidary of reneging on a business arrangement.
The dispute is due to be heard in the High Court Chancery Division in mid-July. All three parties were childhood friends in Iraq and were forced to leave the country during the reign of Ba’ath Party dictator Saddam Hussein.
Manches litigation head Clive Zietman and associate Francesca Berry are leading the claim.
Berry told The Lawyer: “Our client found us through our website and used it to get in touch with us.”
She added: “Our client is definitely aggrieved, but as well as that there is emotion there. There are two weeks until the trial – it looks like it’s going to go ahead.”
The dispute came about after Habib Alhaidary and Hamid Al-Bayati decided to go into the London property business in the early 1990s. The relationship soured and Alhaidary requested Al-Bayati to terminate his power of attorney over properties they owned. Alhaidary claims that Al-Bayati gave these rights to Abbas Al-Shaik unlawfully, leaving him unable to sell his property.
Hamid Al-Bayati was appointed permanent representative of Iraq to the United Nations in April 2006. He worked as Iraq’s deputy minister of foreign affairs and bilateral relations from 2004 to 2006.
Mohammed Al-Shaik is Iraq’s first ambassador to Iran since 1980, the year a war erupted between the two nations that lasted almost eight years.
Manches has instructed Daniel Hubbard at One Essex Court. London firm Georgiou Nicholas is acting for the two ambassadors, instructing Charles Douthwaite at Four New Square.