Ex-wife urges judge to jail Sir Frederick Barclay over unpaid millions

Lady Hiroko Barclay says Sir Frederick has breached orders after being told to pay her more than £100 million.

25 July 2022

The ex-wife of 87-year-old businessman Sir Frederick Barclay has complained that he owes her tens of millions of pounds and asked a judge hand him a jail sentence.

Lady Hiroko Barclay, 79, says Sir Frederick has breached orders after being told to pay her more than £100 million following the breakdown of their 34-year marriage, and is in contempt of court.

She told Sir Jonathan Cohen, who began overseeing a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London on Monday, that Sir Frederick had the means to pay but was aiming to “string things out” until “one or other of us dies”.

Sir Frederick disputes her claims.

Lady Hiroko Barclay (left) leaves the High Court (Kirsty O'Connor/PA)
Lady Hiroko Barclay (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Lady Barclay said Sir Frederick had “the means to pay”, adding: “For him to pretend otherwise is false.”

She told Sir Jonathan, in a written witness statement: “He has no respect for me or for the court.

“His aim is simply to string things out, hiding behind a web of complex structures (the initial purpose behind which was the avoidance of tax), allowing our daughter Amanda to fund all his financial needs, until one or other of us dies.”

Sir Frederick and his twin brother Sir David were among the UK’s most high-profile businessmen.

Sir David died in January last year, aged 86.

Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay after receiving their knighthoods
Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay (Michael Stephens/PA)

Their business interests included Telegraph Media Group and The Ritz hotel in London.

The family also has links to the Channel Islands and Monaco.

Sir Jonathan had ruled that Sir Frederick should pay Lady Barclay sums totalling £100 million after overseeing their fight over money.

The judge criticised Sir Frederick, saying he had behaved in a “reprehensible” fashion.

He said the businessman had sold a luxury yacht and “applied the equity for his own use”, in breach of orders.

The judge said Lady Barclay had wanted £120 million and Sir Frederick had made an offer which might have led her to getting nothing.

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