Amanda Staveley, the financier who once dated Prince Andrew, is suing one of the Ukraine's richest men as part of a £3m battle over fees related to the 2010 sale of one of Trafalgar Square's most prominent landmarks.
Ms Staveley, perhaps best known for her work advising the Abu Dhabi government to participate in a £7bn fund-raising in Barclays (LSE: BARC.L - news) in 2008, is accusing Gennadiy Bogolyubov of failing to pay the fees in relation to his purchase of One Trafalgar Square, an imposing Victorian office property on the east of the square.
PCP Capital Partners, Ms Staveley's advisory firm, alleges that in spring 2010 it was retained by vehicles linked to Mr Bogolyubov, who is contesting the writ, in connection with acquiring the landmark property for an initial price of £165m. The approach came from property advisory firm Michael Elliott on Mr Bogolyubov's behalf.
The property, which is home to the offices of National Grid (LSE: NG.L - news) and Enterprise Oil as well as a number of retail outlet, was at the time owned by Istithmar, a subsidiary of Dubai World.
Court filings allege that although the property was not up for sale, PCP's connections including a conversation between Ms Staveley and a member of the Dubai government ensured that the emirate became receptive to advances by Mr Bogolyubov.
As part of the discussions, PCP agreed a £3m success fee, of which it was to receive £2.3m, with the remaining £700,0000 payable to Burridge, another advisory firm. As the result of further conversations with Dubai contacts between Ms Staveley's deputy, Nicholas Hegarty, it emerged that a price in the region of £173m would be enough to secure the building.
The PCP/Burridge-advised bid of £173m was despatched on June 27, 2010. But by early August, PCP discovered that a rival bid, despatched by Michael Elliott on behalf of Mr Bogolyubov, had been successful in securing the building. The £3m fee was not paid.
The trial continues.