Qatari Sheikh Sued for $381,000 in Unpaid Fees by U.K. Law Firm

A member of the Qatari royal family was sued by SJ Berwin LLP for 250,600 pounds ($381,000) in unpaid fees for advice given in relation to orders by judges in the U.S. and U.K. freezing his assets.

Sheikh Saud Bin Mohammed Bin Ali Al-Thani, a cousin of the Emir of Qatar, was sued for 4.1 million pounds in the U.K. by London auction house Bonhams 1793 Ltd. and $22 million in the U.S. by rare coin specialists A.H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd., SJ Berwin said in court documents filed Feb. 20 and released last month.

Al-Thani was head of the country’s National Council for Culture, Arts and Heritage and is a “significant collector of valuable antiques and fine art,” SJ Berwin said.

Al-Thani successfully bid on coins including a $3.25 million single gold piece from the Ancient Greek city of Pantikapaion that bears the head of a bearded satyr last year, according to the Oct. 9 lawsuit filed in Washington, by A.H. Baldwin, M&M Numismatics LLC of Washington and Dmitry Markov Coins and Medals of New York.

Nicola Bridge, a lawyer at SJ Berwin who signed the court filings, declined to comment through a firm spokeswoman. A London phone number for Al-Thani appeared to have been disconnected.

The U.K. case, filed Sept. 27 by Bonhams, isn’t publicly available and Julian Roup, a spokesman for the auction house declined to comment on the suit. A London judge froze Al-Thani’s global assets on Oct. 2, SJ Berwin said in the court documents, without saying how much the freezing order was for.

Al-Thani pledged the world’s most expensive watch and other collectibles valued at almost $83 million to Sotheby’s (BID) to cover debts owed to the auction house, according to court documents filed at the New York Department of State in October.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeremy Hodges in London at jhodges17@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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