One of the founders of YOPA, Andrew Barclay, has been named in legal proceedings currently under way in the High Court over the sale of The Ritz hotel in London.
Barclay, who stepped down as a director of the hybrid estate agency last year, has become embroiled in legal action between two sides of his family.
He is part of the Barclays brothers’ clan who used to own the famous London hotel and who are also proprietors of the Daily Telegraph.
His great uncle is Sir Frederick Barclay, 85, who with his daughter Amanda is suing three of his twin brother David’s sons – Alistair, Aidan and Howard, plus Aidan’s son Andrew – over the sale of the hotel.
A second preliminary hearing took place in the High Court yesterday, during which it was said that David Barclay’s side of the family were involved in the misuse of private information, breach of confidence and breach of data protection laws.
This refers to allegations that commercial espionage was used to find out about an initial offer that was on the table for the hotel of £1.3 billion from a Saudi investor.
The Ritz was later sold to a Qatari businessman for less than £1 billion, leading to arguments within the Barclay family, which have now ended up in court.
The somewhat bizarre court case follows arguments within the Barclay family over the value of assets as they attempt to shore up Barclay brothers’ empire by selling key properties and businesses.
Andrew Barclay established YOPA in 2015 with brother Alistair, Daniel Attia and David Jacobs. Of these three, only Alistair remains a director of the company.
In August last year Grenville Turner, who is a former Countrywide boss, was brought in to turn the company around and help secure a further funding from Daily Mail parent company DMGT and Savills’ investment arm, Grosvenor Ventures.