The ownership of three of London's leading five-star hotels could be settled by a legal battle in the High Court.
Property developer Patrick McKillen, who holds a 36% stake in the Maybourne Hotel Group - the company which owns and runs the Berkeley, Connaught and Claridge's - is suing the Barclay brothers (pictured) over their ownership of the 35% shareholding they acquired from the founder of Maybourne, Irish property entrepreneur Derek Quinlan, to take their holding in the company to 64%.
At the end of September Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay, who already own the Ritz and Cavendish hotels in London, increased their control of the group through the purchase of £695m of the company's debt from Ireland's National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) via their company, Maybourne Finance.
However, McKillen is disputing the ownership of the shares in the company, which the Barclays earlier acquired from Quinlan. He claims that Quinlan remains the owner because the brothers failed to register a change of ownership and that as a result of an earlier agreement he should have been offered the opportunity to purchase Quinlan's shares.
By Janet Harmer
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