A day trip to Monaco last Wednesday to meet Christian Candy at his spiffing flat elicited little on the high court claim that he and his brother Nick lodged against Qatari Diar following the breakdown of their relationship on Chelsea Barracks. But it was clear over lunch that Christian Candy was nervously awaiting to hear if the Qatari's had acknowledged a claim which today's Mail on Sunday says is worth £100m.
That acknowledgement came on Thursday afternoon, just before the court closed at 4.30pm. By late Friday the claim warned of here on Thursday was a public document. The Mail has done its usual sterling job in boiling down the facts. The brothers want £81m due when the £3b project to build 638 flats was granted permission, plus £19m or so in costs and loss of profit on a separate interior design contract.
Prince Charles put paid to all that by persuading the Qatari's to abandon the Richard Rogers design: hence the naming of HRH on the claim form along with Qatari Diar because of his "direct intervention". London mayor Boris Johnson is also dragged into the fray because the Candys say that he had not made up his mind to direct refusal of the application - the excuse the Qataris used to terminate the contract.
The first question that arises from all this is the same one raised in the posting last week. Why on earth sue one branch of Qatari Inc, when you are working with another branch of the family business building 86 hyper-luxury flats in Knightsbridge? This question was put to Christian Candy on Wednesday. He didn't answer. But it is now clear from the claim that the feels the Qataris have caved in to royal pressure and broken a signed agreement.
But dragging in Prince Charles is going to cause an awful hoo-ha isn't it? Indeed. The only explanation on offer after spending a day with Christian Candy is that the hyperactive brothers don't care a fig bout creating a hoo-ha, the bigger the better in fact. They will no doubt argue it was Prince Charles who started this after all. Charles will no doubt argue his has a right to express his Royal opinion. Who is left in the middle? The hapless Qataris who apparently don't even control Knightsbridge - as the Candy's say they have 70% of the equity.