BARCLAYS Bank today won its high court battle against Amanda Staveley, who had claimed the bank owed her hundreds of millions of pounds for arranging investment deals during the 2008 financial crisis.
The bank had always claimed Staveley, a glamorous financier who had once dated Prince Andrew and had strong links in the Middle East, was merely an introducer rather than a major player.
Staveley was asking for £819 million in damages through a civil lawsuit filed by her PCP Capital Partners investment advisory firm. She had claimed she was ousted as an investor.
Barclays said: “We welcome the court’s decision to dismiss PCP’s claim in its entirety and award it no damages.”
Barclays raised more than £7 billion in October 2008 from Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, thereby avoiding a bailout from the UK government.
The case was somewhat of an embarrassment for Barclays. The court heard that some executives had referred to Staveley, 47, as a “dolly bird” and a “tart”.
She said: "In spite of Barclays’ efforts to question my character and credentials, the court has recognised my abilities as a businesswoman and the truth of my account of events.
"The judgment confirms what I have said from the outset and repeated in my evidence; a senior executive at Barclays repeatedly lied to me when seeking private investment in the bank during the 2008 financial crisis.
"The evidence at trial was clear and unequivocal; PCP was an investor in the transaction and played an integral role in the capital raising, which ultimately prevented the bank from being nationalised.”
Her lawyer Richard East of Quinn Emanuel said: “Despite Barclays’ attempts to besmirch Ms Staveley’s character during 6 days of no-holds-barred cross examination, this judgment makes clear that Ms Staveley was a reliable and honest witness.
“It is disappointing that, despite the Judge finding that Ms Staveley was a tough, persistent, clever and able negotiator, that he found ultimately that she could not have completed the deal which she had put in place and hence no loss was suffered. This is a surprising outcome.”
Lawyers representing bank bosses criticised Ms Staveley, who says PCP introduced Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour - a member of the royal family of Abu Dhabi - to Barclays as an investor, during the trial.
Jeffery Onions QC, who led Barclays' legal team, told Mr Justice Waksman that she had a "tendency to exaggerate" when giving evidence.
He said her evidence had been "peppered with hyperbole" and in some respects was "plainly dishonest".
Mr Justice Waksman described Ms Staveley as "the driving force of PCP" and as a "tough, clever and creative entrepreneur".
"Barclays contends that, in general, Ms Staveley was thoroughly unreliable, her evidence was inconsistent with documents, she had a flawed recollection and she was guilty of 'obvious embellishment and invention'," said the judge.
"I do not accept that as a general characterisation so that she was essentially an untruthful or unreliable witness."
He added: "I thought that, for the most part, her evidence was reliable."
Mr Justice Waksman said PCP had succeeded on liability but failed on causation and loss.
The judge said the result was that the overall claim failed.
He added: "I can understand why this outcome will be a serious disappointment to PCP, especially after I have found Barclays to be guilty of serious deceit towards it."
Staveley said she is considering an appeal.