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Long-running Alhamrani case in Jersey ends in settlement

The long-running case involving members of a wealthy Saudi Arabian family who sued JPMorgan (Jersey) Trust Co was quietly settled out of court in September, it has been learned.

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The long-running case involving members of a wealthy Saudi Arabian family who sued JPMorgan (Jersey) Trust Co was quietly settled out of court in September, it has been learned.

Details of the settlement were not disclosed.

The case, which became famous for being Jersey’s most expensive, went to court in October 2008, and as expected, became its longest as well, based on 103 days spent in court. Initial legal proceedings dated back to 2003. 

Five members of the Alhamrani family, which is well-known in Saudi Arabia for business interests that include the retailing of such luxury car brands as Jaguar and Land Rover, originally filed suit against the JPMorgan Trust Co among others, seeking compensation for losses they claimed totalled more than $120m.

One of the defendants was Sheikh Abdullah Ali M Alhamrani, the brother of the plaintiffs.

As reported previously in International Adviser, all of the defendants denied the charges, which included breach of trust, conflict of interest, gross negligence and lack of communication between the trustees and beneficiaries.

Issues raised
Although the case is  over, it will have lasting effects on the way trust and legal professionals in Jersey do business in the future, according to a spokesman for Carey Olsen, one of more than a number of Jersey and London firms involved in the proceedings.

Carey Olsen, the largest law firm operating in the Channel Islands, advised Russa Management Ltd, one of the trustees. 

The law firm has begun to hold seminars to brief others in the wealth management profession on the case’s implications. One of these is scheduled to be held in London in March. 

Complicated case

So complex was the case that a temporary courtroom had to be set up in a Jersey hotel, so that other more routine court business could continue to be attended to.

At one point in early 2009, the proceedings were adjourned for several weeks after it was found that JPMorgan had tape recordings of telephone calls and electronically stored documents of what the Saudi family’s lawyers said were of “potential relevance".  

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