User Sir Frederick Barclay is waiting to see whether a judge has ruled he is in contempt of court for failing to pay his ex-wife nearly £250,000.
Lady Hiroko Barclay, 79, asked Sir Jonathan Cohen to jail Sir Frederick, 87, after arguing he defied court orders to pay her more than £100million after the break-up of their 34-year marriage. was violated.
He said he had not paid the first of two lump sums of £50 million as ordered and owed £185,000 to cover his legal bills and maintenance costs of £60,000.
Lady Barclay argued that Sir Frederick had the means to pay but did not pay.
Sir Jonathan ruled that Sir Frederick was not in contempt as a result of not paying the first of two lump sums of £50 million.
He concluded that Lady Barclay had not proved that Sir Frederick had the means to pay.
But the judge ruled that Sir Frederick was in contempt as a result of not paying legal fees and maintenance he owed – after concluding he had the means to pay.
Sir Jonathan made the rulings at a public hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London after considering the latest phase of the money dispute between Sir Frederick and Lady Barclay.
He said he would consider whether fines could be imposed at a follow-up hearing next month.
Lawyers said outside court that Sir Jonathan could sentence Sir Frederick to prison.
Lady Barclay told Sir Jonathan that Sir Frederick had the means to pay all the money he owed but that he intended to “end things” until “one or the other of us dies.” Go”.
Sir Frederick had said he did not have access to the funds – and said the money was held in trust.
Marcus Darrell, a lawyer representing Sir Frederick, told the judge that “every step” had been taken to collect the money owed.
Sir Frederick and his twin Sir David were among Britain’s most high-profile business figures.
His business interests include the Telegraph Media Group and The Ritz Hotel in London.
Sir David died in January last year aged 86.
Control of the Barclay Group has passed from other family members.
Sir Jonathan suggested in a written order that the prosecution should be a “matter of honour” for the Barclay family.
He said Sir Frederick and Sir David had “made a fortune” through their business ventures.
“In 2014, the two brothers decided to distribute what they had to the next generation and to avoid tax liabilities arising on life or death,” he said.
“It took the form of a web of highly complex overseas trust arrangements.”
He said the “family fortune made by both brothers” was divided equally between Sir David’s three sons and Sir Frederick’s daughter Amanda.
He added: “So it was that one side of the family had 75% of the wealth and the other 25%, all held through a complex trust structure.”
The judge discussed the involvement of Sir Frederick’s nephews in the divorce case and said they did not help find a “solution”.
He said it had not been suggested that anyone other than Sir David’s sons – apart from Sir Frederick’s daughter – were “the actual ultimate beneficial owners of the domestic assets”.
The three men had “beneficially ultimate control of 75 per cent of the businesses”, the judge said.
But he added: “I have heard nothing from him except by way of statements in support of (an) application which would have the effect of removing the power of the media and others. As described.”
He added: “It is absolutely shocking that instead of helping to find a solution to what should be a matter of honor for this family, they refuse to provide information, wallowing in the trust structure. behind the scenes, while spending more than £1 million in subsidizing Sir Frederick’s legal fees and, no doubt, a huge sum on their own fees to avoid the media eye.