Lord Stevens’ investigation firm is linked to ‘bugging of billionaire tycoon Sir Frederick Barclay’

Ex Met Police chief Lord Stevens’ private investigation firm is linked to ‘bugging of billionaire tycoon Sir Frederick Barclay at Ritz hotel’

  • Sir Frederick, 85, is involved in a bitter High Court battle with three of his twin brother Sir David’s sons
  • It is over 94 hours of secret recordings made over a number of months as part of what his lawyers have described as ‘commercial espionage on a vast scale’
  • In the High Court it has been alleged that the bugging operation breached data-protection laws because other people could have been recorded 

Ex-Metropolitan Police chief Lord Stevens’ private investigation firm has been linked to the bugging of Sir Frederick Barclay at the Ritz Hotel. 

Sir Frederick, 85, is involved in a bitter High Court battle with three of his twin brother Sir David’s sons. It is over 94 hours of secret recordings made over a number of months as part of what his lawyers have described as ‘commercial espionage on a vast scale’.

The businessman and his daughter Amanda are suing Alistair, Aidan and Howard Barclay, Aidan’s son Andrew, and Philip Peters – a director of a number of companies in the Barclay Group – after the ‘elaborate system of covert recording’ was discovered in January.

In the High Court it has been alleged that the bugging operation breached data-protection laws because other people could have been recorded, as reported by The Times.

Sir Frederick Barclay (right) and his twin brother Sir David (left) posing after receiving their knighthoods from the Queen at Buckingham Palace

Lord Stevens, the former commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, is involved with Quest Global

Lord Stevens, the former commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, is involved with Quest Global

Evidence in a court judgement shows Quest Global was invoiced for 405 hours to listen to and transcribe the recordings and it is also alleged to have provided a wi-fi bug. 

Lord Stevens has been Chairman of the company since 2014. 

It now faces a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). 

A defence document has already conceded that the bugging of the tycoon breached the Data Protection Act 2018.

It stated: ‘The defendants accept that the claimants are entitled to compensation.’ Quest Global is not a defendant in the case.

Lawyers have described the conservatory area Sir Barclay was recorded in as semi-public.

Sir Frederick, 85, is involved in a bitter High Court battle with three of his twin brother Sir David's sons. It is over 94 hours of secret recordings made over a number of months at the Ritz

Sir Frederick, 85, is involved in a bitter High Court battle with three of his twin brother Sir David’s sons. It is over 94 hours of secret recordings made over a number of months at the Ritz

Clive Mackintosh, a data-protection lawyer at Harper James Solicitors, said: ‘Your right to privacy doesn’t just rest at home, but extends to wherever you are. 

‘So if you are being secretly recorded for a commercial purpose, there is no lawful basis for that.’ 

On its website the Quest group says it is a ‘global advisory firm that enables private and public sector clients to respond to a range of security and integrity issues.’  

It adds: ‘Established over two decades ago, we have offered bespoke services to guard and maintain critical organisation assets and capabilities, such as key people, property, technology systems and proprietary information.’

The ICO told the newspaper it did not keep information in its register on the categories of information Quest Global was authorised to process under data protection laws, and declined to comment further. 

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