The posh Relais & Chateaux Longueville Manor Hotel - according to some the only decent place to stay on the island of Jersey - and its lesser cousin the Hotel Cristina were facing a grim winter and spring, like many other hotels in these credit crunch times. But last autumn four Saudi brothers, led by Sheikh Mohamed Ali M Alhamrani, commenced a landmark legal battle against the trust operation of JP Morgan bank for losses totalling £120m. Luckliy for the two hotels, all the defendants deny the allegations against them, which include breach of trust, conflict of interest, gross negligence and lack of communication between the trustees and beneficiaries.
Luckily? Because lawyers from up to a dozen Jersey and London firms acting for both sides and hundreds of bundles of documents have been based at the Hotel Cristina in St Lawrence until now because there is not enough space for them at the Royal Court. Moreover the Saudi princes - plus extensive retinues - have camped out in the Hotel Longueville, which is apparently doing a roaring trade while others around them wilt in the ill wind of recession.
The hotels, or course, are praying the case will drag out a while longer...
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