The future ownership of a planned £100 million London “supermansion” is at the heart of a legal row involving one of Pakistan’s leading political dynasties.
Senator Waqar Ahmed Khan, the former Pakistani minister for privatisation, and four members of his family have been embroiled in a lengthy battle with Deutsche Bank over the property in the north London street known as billionaires’ row.
The case, which comes to trial at the Commercial Court today, centres on a five-bedroom house called Dryades on a 1.5 acre site in The Bishops Avenue, where residents include the Sultan of Brunei and the Saudi royal family.
The Khan family bought the house in 2007 and in 2009 won planning consent to demolish it and replace it with a 45,000 sq ft residence that would be one of the biggest in London.
Planning documents lodged with Barnet council show that the house will have 21 bedrooms, an orangery, a basement with swimming pool, cinema, sauna room, billiard room and bowling alley and a car lift. But the bank has applied to repossess the property, as well as six Knightsbridge apartments worth a further £40 million, in a bid to recover a £50 million loan to Mr Khan.
The loan was said to be in default because the property it was secured on was worth less than the outstanding amount. Mr Khan, a prominent figure in the Pakistan People’s Party and once the youngest senator, has in turn made a counter claim against Deutsche Bank (Suisse), its Geneva-based investment arm.
The family argues that the bank mis-sold financial products to them and withheld £11 million of the loan that prevented them from pressing ahead with The Bishops Avenue development. The Khans argue that the opportunity to buy and develop the property was brought to them by Deutsche private banker Nassim Ahmad “a close trusted adviser and senior banker to the Khan family”.
In the papers the Khans claim that Deutsche “breached its contractual obligations in failing to advance the full amount”. As a result they claim they have had to “liquidate certain investments and incur losses”. None of the parties was available for comment. Local estate agents also would not comment.
Interesting .. who says we are poor? Our 'bright' senator is about to build the second biggest property in London. Second only to Buckingham palace .. wah wah wah