McKillen can appeal ruling for London landmarks

The battle for control and ownership of three of London’s most storied hotels – Berkeley, the Connaught and Claridge’s – continues as Patrick McKillen, who lost a court battle in September with the billionaire Barclay brothers, has won the right to appeal.

On October 25 the Court of Appeal in London accepted the case with a hearing expected to take place sometime between this December and April next year, according to a story on Tuesday in Irish Times.

The exact nature of the grounds for appeal has not been published, but speculation centers around the justice’s interpretation of the shareholders’ agreement signed by investors in Coroin Ltd.

Coroin, which was established by financier Derek Quinlan, was used as the vehicle to buy the hotels in 2004.

The September ruling that the shareholders’ agreement had not been broken when Quinlan transferred control, if not ownership, of his stake in the company to the Barclays.

Equally, McKillen is expected to argue that pre-emption rights allowing existing shareholders to buy out others had been triggered because security held by a number of Quinlan’s creditors had been triggered for non-payment of debts.

McKillen has paid millions in legal bills, according to the Irish Times, including nearly €1 million to the National Asset Management Agency to comply with an order made in September – though the majority of the bill has yet to be assessed by a costs judge.

The bill for the case so far is expected to top the £20 million mark. This would make it one of the most significant legal actions in London this year.