The Tchenguiz brothers – who before the crash were among the most powerful corporate players in the UK – are litigating again: this time among themselves, according to today’s Times.
The dispute centres on the Tchenguiz Family Trust, based in the British Virgin Islands, which at one point claimed to own one per cent of all residential freeholds in the UK.
The Times says:
“The origin of the latest dispute can be traced back to 2007, when the siblings’ father Victor — an Iranian businessman who was formerly the head of the mint for the Shah of Iran — expressed a wish to divide the Tchenguiz Family Trust into two segregated trusts. The family trust was for Vincent and his descendants, while the Tchenguiz Discretionary Trust was established for Robert and his family.”
Robert Tchenguiz, 57, is suing his brother Vincent over representations to Grant Thornton, the liquidator of failed Icelandic bank Kaupthing.
Robert and Vincent Tchenguiz are no longer speaking to each other after a legal row over the administration of a family trust set up by their father.
It was over these issues that the two were arrested by the Serious Fraud Office in March 2011, on wrong evidence as it turned out. But it prompted the final unravelling of their property empire, and pitched Peverel – renamed FirstPort – into administration.
The empire of Vincent Tchenguiz is a shadow of its former self, with ground rent income from the residential freeholds going to Rothsay Life, a pension fund set up by Guildsman Sachs, although it no longer has a beneficial interest.
The Tchenguiz income is understood to be limited to consent fees – subletting, alterations – and the redevelopment potential of the freeholds.