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Mon March 04 2024

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Saudi fixer drops Lipton litigation

21 Mar 23 A Saudi fixer who claims he is owed £11m fees from the 22 Bishopsgate project in London has dropped his legal action.

22 Bishopsgate, seen during its construction in 2019-20
22 Bishopsgate, seen during its construction in 2019-20

Hamid Alqumairi, operating as Middle East Real Estate (MERE), had claimed that he was owed money after Lipton Rogers Developments and AXA bought the (then) stalled project from a Saudi consortium in 2015.

Sir Stuart Lipton, principal of Lipton Rogers, said all along that the case was “without any foundation and factually inaccurate”.

Alqumairi has been trying for years to get a cut and sought to raise the stakes in February by going public with a press release. [See previous report here.]

Alqumairi and MERE have now withdrawn their claim against Lipton Rogers and the matter is considered to be over.

The judge observed that “it is hard to think of a clearer case of proceedings being pursued outside the norms of English civil litigation”. He further observed that the litigation was “nothing more than a tactic” and that Alqumairi and MERE “had no serious belief … that [the proceedings] would result in a judgment in their favour”.

The judge also described Mr Alqumairi’s press release of 23 February 2023 as ‘wholly misleading and to my mind improper’.

He awarded £175,438.66 of costs to Lipton Rogers.

A Lipton Rogers statement read: “This matter is now concluded. It should not have arisen at all."

Hamid Alqumairi said: “My claim has not failed on its merits but pursuing it required substantial upfront costs for security. Despite this disappointing outcome it remains the case that I was instrumental in 22 Bishopsgate’s development.”

The 62-storey office building at 22 Bishopsgate opened in 2021.

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