Bloomberg News

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

April 02, 2013

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:US) 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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at

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