Lawyers, accountants and advisors are set to make up to $1bn in fees following the collapse of the Saudi-based Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi and Brothers business empire in 2009, according to reports.
The conglomerate buckled in 2009 with billions of dollars of debt amid allegations of fraud, theft and forgery. The resulting dispute has seen eight years of legal and financial action across the Middle East, London, New York and the Cayman Islands.
“It’s about time this ended. The professional fees have run into the hundreds of millions of dollars for the whole affair, the whole process of litigation and liquidation,” Simon Charlton, acting chief executive of the Algosaibi family partnership told Arab News.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if the total fees come to more than $500m, even as much as $1bn by the end of it.”
At the time of the collapse, the Algosaibi family blamed Maan Al-Sanea, a financial entrepreneur who married into the fold, for siphoning off billions of dollars in loans on forged documents.
Algosaibi has fought a legal battle with Maan Al-Sanea’s Saad Group to determine who was to blame after their 2009 collapse that put an estimated $20bn of debt at risk.
The family firm signed a deal with a committee representing creditor banks to restructure its debt last year with around SAR 22.5bn ($6bn) of claims against it.
Litigation still continues in the Cayman Islands where a trial to settle the ownership of $1bn of disputed assets will be decided soon.
In Saudi Arabia too there is the potential for further action after a special judicial trial appointed to enforce a settlement in the dispute put out an advertisement seeking lawyers, accountants and sales agents for procedures against the assets of Al-Sanea and Saad group, according to Arab News.