‘Determined’ baroness wins first spherical of courtroom battle with jailed solicitor over £2m


An aristocrat has gained the primary spherical of her Top Court docket struggle with a solicitor who she claims ‘tricked’ her out of her £2m existence financial savings – after telling the pass judgement on she has to ‘beg, scouse borrow and borrow so as with the intention to live to tell the tale’.

Baroness Jacqueline Van Zuylen says she used to be ‘determined’ and struggling sleepless nights concerning the whereabouts of her tens of millions after handing them to solicitor Rodney Whiston-Dew to take a position on her behalf in 2012.

Mr Whiston-Dew, 70, is recently in jail after after being jailed in 2017 for his function in a £65m tax rip-off, then therefore caught off.

Baroness van Zuylen is now suing him, difficult her a reimbursement, plus damages, whilst the disgraced legal professional denies any wrongdoing. 

This week, the Cotswolds-based aristocrat beat off a bid via Mr Whiston-Dew to have her declare struck out, after he argued the English courts wouldn’t have jurisdiction to check out the case.

However the case will rumble on for weeks extra after Pass judgement on Nicholas Thompsell adjourned it forward of a complete trial this summer season.

Baroness Jacqueline Van Zuylen says she was 'desperate' and suffering sleepless nights

Baroness Jacqueline Van Zuylen says she used to be ‘determined’ and struggling sleepless nights

Mr Whiston-Dew, 70, is currently in prison after being struck off after being jailed in 2017

Mr Whiston-Dew, 70, is recently in jail after being struck off after being jailed in 2017

Baroness Van Zuylen used to be the 3rd spouse of Baron Thierry van Zuylen, who used to be from a Dutch noble circle of relatives who made a fortune in banking, and owned a string of prime profile racehorses and used to be a number one determine at the French racing scene for greater than 50 years.

They break up previous to the Baron’s loss of life in 2011 and after receiving a profitable divorce agreement the Baroness settled into English rural prime society within the picturesque Cotswolds village of Little Farringdon.

Her daughter Allegra – an alumna of best women’ personal college Cheltenham Girls’ Faculty – went to New York to check artwork.

The Baroness, who claims to be ‘financially unsophisticated’ and to have ‘by no means labored,’ says she used to be ‘persuaded’ via Mr Whiston-Dew to switch money together with her divorce payout, within the sum of £2,103,619, by the use of solicitors to GBT International Ltd, an offshore corporate of which he used to be on the time the director.

She claims she used to be promised a per 30 days source of revenue for existence and signed an influence of lawyer in Mr Whiston-Dew’s favour, giving him the precise to deal with her monetary dealings.

However in 2017, after shedding religion within the association, she says she requested for her a reimbursement plus an evidence of what took place to it, however won neither.

Baroness Jacqueline Van Zuylen with her daughter Allegra pictured back in October 2010

Baroness Jacqueline Van Zuylen together with her daughter Allegra pictured again in October 2010

That very same 12 months, Mr Whiston-Dew used to be jailed for ten years for his function in a £65m tax avoidance rip-off purportedly connected to an eco-friendly reforestation challenge in Brazil. 

The Baroness is now suing Mr Whiston-Dew and GBT International Ltd, difficult the entire of her unique sum again, plus repayment for misplaced possible funding good points.

In his defence to the motion, Mr Whiston-Dew denies the Baroness’ model of occasions and says he and the corporate had been by no means fascinated about scamming her.

She had misplaced cash on deficient investments and used to be overspending on bank cards and overdrafts after they met, he claims, and says he put what used to be left of her cash in a agree with fund, at the Caribbean island of Nevis, to maintain it.

He used to be making an attempt to get her to ‘rein in her ordinary spending conduct, which on the time exceeded £200,000 consistent with annum,’ he claims.

‘At that fee of abrasion of the agree with fund, the capital would no longer ultimate any other decade,’ he says.

Baroness Jacqueline Van Zuylen says she was tricked into investing £2m in her High Court writ

Baroness Jacqueline Van Zuylen says she used to be tricked into making an investment £2m in her Top Court docket writ

Mr Whiston-Dew is going on to mention he used to be ‘known as upon day-to-day to maintain expenditures incurred via the Baroness together with to landlords, shuttle brokers, clothes providers, meals providers, beverage providers, horse product providers, automobile repairers, furnishings providers (and)…horse acquisitions…

‘The Baroness used to be very continuously travelling out of the country, together with involvement in horseriding expeditions and an inner design challenge in very far off portions of India, in east Africa, Italy, Holland and in america, leaving me to maintain ever-increasing calls from her financial institution. Those changed into day-to-day occurrences.’

Mr Whiston-Drew mentioned the agree with – referred to as the Azure Agree with – used to be established beneath the ‘exact needs and working out’ of the Baroness at the island of Nevis and the United Kingdom courts don’t have any jurisdiction to maintain a case regarding finances held there.

The trustee of the fund is ‘no longer obliged to go back the agree with fund to the Baroness and in reality can be in breach of agree with via doing so beneath the regulations of Nevis,’ he claims.

This week his barrister Timothy Becker requested Pass judgement on Thompsell to strike out the aristocrat’s declare on jurisdiction grounds, on the other hand inquiring for the trial of the case to be adjourned.

Pass judgement on Thompsell passed victory to the Baroness via refusing the strike-out software, pronouncing that while the agree with used to be founded in Nevis, the case towards Mr Whiston-Dew comprises issues throughout the jurisdiction of the English courts, together with claims that he breached Monetary Behavior Authority laws.

However his software for an adjournment used to be allowed, after Mr Becker informed the pass judgement on that Mr Whiston-Dew wishes time to protected investment to pay for attorneys to constitute him.

Asking the pass judgement on to not adjourn the trial, Derrick Dale QC for Baroness Van Zuylen informed the courtroom she is in a ‘determined’ scenario.

‘She passed all of her cash to Mr Whiston-Dew and because he has long gone to jail, despite the fact that bills persisted for a brief length, she has won no cash, no cash in any respect,’ he mentioned.

‘She has needed to beg, scouse borrow and borrow so as with the intention to live to tell the tale in a day after day lifestyles. She can not pay her hire at the belongings she lives in.’

Mr Becker identified that the Baroness is represented via ‘main recommend from one of the crucial Magic Circle chambers,’ including, ‘issues cannot be all that unhealthy’.

However Mr Dale informed the pass judgement on the Baroness’s felony staff have agreed to paintings on a no-win no-fee foundation.

‘She has had to go into into 100 consistent with cent conditional commission agreements together with her felony staff to behavior this trial,’ he mentioned.

He additionally wired to the pass judgement on Baroness Van Zuylen’s ‘sense of misery and disenchanted in terms of the fraud declare,’ including ‘she does not sleep, she has nervousness, she additionally may be very very wired.’

Alternatively the pass judgement on allowed the adjournment and eliminate the trial, after being informed that Mr Whiston Dew has been suffering so badly with seeking to behavior his personal defence while beneath ‘lockdown stipulations within the jail because of Covid’ that he has been placed on antidepressants via jail medics.

The pass judgement on mentioned: ‘In his provide state, he would no longer be capable of have an even trial.

‘The price of a couple of weeks is unlucky, but when the result’s that we will be able to have a greater trial, that might be useful…so I’m minded to permit the applying for an adjournment.

‘Baroness Van Zuylen, I’m informed, may be struggling sleepless nights over this and I by no means minimise the impact on her.

‘However I feel the cost of a couple of further weeks are a great deal outweighed via the actual prospect of there no longer being an even trial if we had been to plough on nowadays.’

The case will go back to courtroom for trial later this summer season.



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