White & Case called to court by Saudi tycoon over Barclays settlement

Saudi tycoon Mohamed bin Issa al Jaber has filed a petition in a New York court, requesting that White & Case hand over documents relating to a 10-year-old confidential settlement it had reached for client Barclays.

The Saudi national is preparing to launch a multi-billion dollar case against the banking giant in the US, the dispute could lead to damages of $10bn (£6.4bn).

According to papers filed in New York last week (4 September), the petition has been made by Jaber and his company MBI International and relates to a dispute between the bank and agencies of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The plaintiff is suing Barclays over its dealings in Saudi Arabia, which, he alleges, cost his company $10bn over the last decade. 

In the petition, Jaber, the founder and chairman of MBI International, asked White & Case to disclose documents relating to a certain confidential settlement that took place 10 years ago. The settlement was between Barclays Bank, which was represented by the US firm at the time, and agencies of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, through which the petitioner alleged that a bribery was committed and concealed, according to the court filing.

The plaintiffs stated in the court documents that they “are the victim of a tortious scheme involving bribery and intend to bring an action against putative defendant Barclays Bank in this court for tortious interference, among other claims, arising out of the scheme”.

White & Case should be forced to disclose the documents, the claimants said, because it would enable it to identify the means and methods of the scheme as well as to identify fully the participants in it.

MBI International instructed partner Evan Mandel of New York-based plaintiff litigation boutique firm Mandel Bhandari to lead the case.

No claims against Barclays Bank have been filed by the plaintiffs so far. 

White & Case declined to comment as did Barclays.