The English courts imitate the Eurovision Song Contest: all nationalities pass through there to exhibit their talents and their shame. With the difference that court bills are more expensive; sometimes, the lawsuits go from divorces of Arab or famous sheikhs; others, of Russian oligarchs and figures of money that not even bleach can whiten; others, of family fights and shady deals. The case of the inviolability of the former head of the Spanish State and his Danish ex-lover flutters between lack of love, greed and fortunes, directly or indirectly from Spain. Those who make August in the middle of winter are the two teams of lawyers who defend the plaintiff, Corinna Zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Saynand the defendant, Juan Carlos Alfonso Víctor María de Borbón y Borbón, as they appear in the official documentation or skeletons (plot summaries) of both parties to which the media have access.
The court hearing on whether the emeritus is immune from prosecution in British courts took place on December 6 and 7. According to Spanish media, in one or two months the judge’s sentence would be known Matthew Nicklin, which has not yet been issued. Juan Carlos’s lawyers argued that the head of state was exonerated in the face of Corinna’s three accusations: harassment, defamation and illegal surveillance by the former king, from the National Intelligence Center, CNI, led by Felix Sanz Roldan and the commissioner Jose Manuel Villarejo. The lawsuit was filed in December 2020. She asks, in addition to the trial for the three charges, a restraining order of 150 meters away, prohibiting Juan Carlos from contacting her through any type of communication and compensation for the lack of economic income caused by the alleged defamation of the emeritus against her in circles such as the king and princes of Saudi Arabia or the sultan of Oman. Although Corinna has not set an exact figure for these alleged losses, the Financial Times calculates them aroundtens of millions of euros“. Eye to the data.
The former king told Arab royalty or billionaires like Pepe Fajul and Wafiq Said that Corinna had stolen money from him.
The Danish has presented before the judge a long list of evidence (dimes and diretes) to justify the charges. The most frequent is that the former king said to Arab royalty or billionaires as Pepe Fajul Y Wafiq Said that Corinna had stolen money from him (30 million euros) and was not a trustworthy person. In the official documentation she is presented as “strategic consultant working with a network of high-value individuals and leading companies around the world.” Another reason for the quarrel between the former lovers was the claim of 65 million euros, from the emeritus’ bribe in the construction of the AVE to Mecca. She considers this money a gift, as proof of love from the ex-monarch to whom she replied with a Santa Rita, Rita…
The trial of the former (king and lover) is not the only one involved in millionaire figures. The London courts have set the bar high in these lawsuits. the russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky sued Roman Abramovich for blackmail and breach of contract; In 2012, he claimed a whopping 3,500 million euros in a trial that cost 120 million euros. Abramovich’s lawyer, Philip Sumption, took the largest amount of money known until then by collecting nine million euros alone. Berezovsky, lost and agreed to compensate Abramovich with 40 million euros. He committed suicide, bankrupt, after a few months without having paid his rival. Lawyer Philip Sumption was criticized for delaying his appointment as a High Court judge to take on the tempting and lucrative case. The two oligarchs grew rich from the privatization of state-owned companies in Russia. Like Corinna and Juan Carlos, Boris and Roman were former colleagues.
Star lawyers charge hourly rates in the four digits or with retainer (advance), a figure that is already high, however, it shoots up to excess if they win the case. At last December’s hearing, both parties (Corinna present, Juan Carlos absent) were represented by half a dozen lawyers. She, in addition, was surrounded by several employees of a Communications firm. Her legal team is headed by Jonathan Caplan and James Lewis and in the second row are Adam Chichester-Clark and Andrew Legg, along with assistants and solicitors.
To defend himself against the accusations of the former lover, the former king has turned to Clifford Chance, a firm with a long history in the City in the ranking also of four figures or more than a thousand euros per hour of work
To defend himself against the accusations of the former lover, the former king has turned to Clifford Chance, a firm with a long history in the City in the ranking also in four figures or more than a thousand euros per hour of work. His team is led by Sir Daniel Bethlehem and the academic Philippa Webb along with a staff of lower-ranking lawyers, with rates starting at 300 euros per hour of work. Lawyers from Clifford Chance represented the Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza In the trial known as Thyssen against Thyssen by which Heini, against his children, changed the distribution of the inheritance of 2,000 million euros. The process cost 65 million euros and involved 15 lawyers over five years. It ended with a deal in February 2002; in April, the baron died peacefully.
With these cases that tinkle in English jurisprudence -Scotland has transferred the powers of Justice- and the knowledge of the trade, two members of the legal profession, who remain anonymous, calculate that Corinna’s litigation against Juan Carlos already exceeds one million euros. But neither she nor he seems to have to reach into their pockets to pay the bills that arrive. According to a member of the legal profession, the most expensive are lawyers’ fees, expert reports, and management and administrative expenses. “The first thing is 12,000 euros to present the lawsuit to the court, the cost of the witnesses, 300 euros for each judicial request, the transcripts are shared between both parties, the documentation for twenty people, the rent of a room attached to 300 euros per day, the allowances per day… and you see adding up”, lists the lawyer, who adds: “I participated, and we won, recently a case that included a subject of jurisprudence, like the one disputed by Juan Carlos; it cost more than a million pounds even though our firm’s rates are much lower than Clifford Chance’s. Another member of the legal profession, with access to the plot summaries of both parties, states with certainty that “the work invested in the skeletons indicates that they do not skimp on anything, a million pounds between both parties is an underestimate.”
The two lawyers consulted agree that one million euros is a “conservative” estimate of what the judicial process is costing the former, which could be prolonged and increase by millions. The sentence will say whether the emeritus is exempt from immunity or not, however, the case looks like he could enter the ranking of international millionaires who go to English courts to settle accounts with enemies and go through the legal profession. Juan Carlos’s fortune, according to Forbes Y New York TimesIt amounts to €1.8 billion, a figure that makes a peccata minutes the cost of the lawsuit that Judge Matthew Nicklin is deciding. The fate of the former king who on April 22, 1977 already requested -and received- from the Shah of Iran 10 million dollars to “contribute to the strengthening of the Spanish monarchy”. This is how he cultivated his impeccable country life: he had been Head of State for a year and a half; he stayed until 2014.