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Sat July 20 2024

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Saudi fixer claims fees for 22 Bishopsgate

24 Feb 23 London property developer Sir Stuart Lipton is facing a legal challenge from a Saudi fixer who claims he is owed £11m fees from the 22 Bishopsgate project.

22 Bishopsgate, during construction by Multiplex
22 Bishopsgate, during construction by Multiplex

Hamid Alqumairi claims he is owed money after Lipton Rogers Developments and AXA bought the stalled project from a Saudi consortium in 2015.

Mr Alqumairi is a Saudi resident who claims to have commissioned and won planning support for the designs that were ultimately implemented as the Square Mile’s highest skyscraper took shape. He claims to have been “a crucial middleman between” Lipton and 22 Bishopsgate’s previous Saudi owners. The building opened in 2021.

Mr Alqumairi has this week broken cover on a lawsuit filed two years ago at the High Court by his company, Middle East Real Estate, against Lipton Roger Developments (LRD). LRD and principal Sir Stuart Lipton contest the legal claim, dispute Mr Alqumairi’s version of events and deny owing him money.

Hamid Alqumairi said: “I have been pressing Sir Stuart Lipton for more than five years now to keep his word to me. What I am seeking is fair compensation for the role I played in helping him, AXA and London bring this wonderful building into existence.

“More to the point, I am seeking fulfilment of a deal that was explicitly agreed. When I first knew Sir Stuart, I believed he was a man who honoured his agreements. It pains me to have to take this action.”

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“This project could not have been completed without me. The previous plan was too expensive to build, in part due to cladding, and the design of floor plates was not suitable for tenants. I was instrumental in getting a workable design agreed, getting planning support and therefore getting the project funded, and winning the mandate for Lipton Rogers as development manager. I had a fair deal to reward me for these efforts, which needs to be honoured.”

The legal action has been filed by Middle East Real Estate, Hamid Alqumairi’s company, and by Mr Alqumairi himself, represented by BBS Law. The defendant is Lipton Rogers Development LLP. The claim number is BL-2021-000266.

Sir Stuart Lipton said: “The claim brought by Hamid Alqumairi and Middle East Real Estate Inc is without any foundation and is factually inaccurate and misconceived.”

He said that Mr Alqumairi was seeking publicity for “a dispute which is now eight years old” and for a legal claim issued in February 2021.

He said: “Mr Alqumairi’s decision to issue a press release now is nothing more than an attempt to exert improper pressure on Lipton Rogers to settle, in the face of insuperable difficulties Mr Alqumairi is facing with his legal claim. In particular, the legal claim is currently stayed as a consequence of Mr Alqumairi’s failure to comply with court orders and an application is listed before the High Court on 14 March 2023 to strike out the claim for Mr Alqumairi’s non-compliance with those court orders.”

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