Barclays in court battle over London hotels

Three businessmen are fighting a UK High Court battle over three of London's most famous hotels – Claridges, the Connaught and the Berkeley.

Patrick McKillen, from Belfast, is keen to stymie a "take-over plan" by Sir David Barclay and his brother, Sir Frederick and lawyers yesterday started building up evidence to present to judge justice David Richards.

All three men have invested in Coroin – the company which owns the three hotels. However, according to McKillen, company affairs were conducted in a "manner unfairly prejudicial to his interests" and is claiming damages.

His claims are being contested by the Barclay brothers, who grew up in London, at a hearing expected to end next month.

In written arguments to the judge, Philip Marshall, QC, for McKillen, said Coroin had been set up in 2004 to take over hotels, adding that McKillen was a director and "substantial shareholder" and the relationship was based on "trust and confidence".

The hotels' value had gone up from £530 million to £985 million in a period of six years and Coroin was worth more than £1 billion, he added.