Legal battle unfolds over King Fahd’s London mansion

London (Caasimada Online) – In a legal showdown highlighting the ongoing struggle for control over assets, the widow of the late Saudi King Fahd bin Abdulaziz finds herself embroiled in a contentious dispute over a lavish multimillion-dollar house on one of London’s most prestigious streets.

Aljawharah Alibrahim, the wife of the deceased monarch, is facing a lawsuit from the Asturion Foundation, a Liechtenstein-based organization tasked with managing King Fahd’s extensive property portfolio.

According to the foundation, one of its board members transferred Kenstead Hall, a magnificent 10-bedroom mansion located on London’s renowned “billionaires’ row,” to Alibrahim without obtaining the approval of the remaining board members.

This legal battle raises questions about ownership rights and the management of the late king’s estate.

Disputed ownership and board approval

The Asturion Foundation asserts that until October 2011, Kenstead Hall was held by the foundation on behalf of the heirs of King Fahd bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia.

The foundation’s legal team informed the judge presiding over the case that the defendant, Aljawharah Alibrahim, her son Prince Abdul Aziz bin Fahd, and eight other children from the king’s previous marriages were specifically named in the case outline.

The foundation contends that the property transfer to Alibrahim was carried out without the necessary approval from the board members.

They argue that this transfer violated the foundation’s established procedures and fiduciary responsibilities.

In response to the allegations, Rupert Reed KC, the legal representative for Aljawharah Alibrahim, claimed that the board member responsible for the transfer possessed the required authority to execute the transaction.

Reed argued that Alibrahim had no reason to suspect any impropriety regarding the transfer and emphasized that the transfer itself was both valid and legally binding.

Alibrahim’s legal team is seeking the dismissal of the case based on the assertion that the transfer was conducted under the appropriate protocols and approvals.

Fahd’s legacy and the shifting Saudi landscape

King Fahd, who held the reins of power in Saudi Arabia from 1982 until 2005, presided over a tumultuous era marked by significant global events.

From Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990 to the tragic September 11 attacks, Fahd’s reign witnessed strained relations between Riyadh and Washington.

The ongoing legal dispute over the London property, an opulent mock Tudor mansion valued at £28 million ($35m), serves as a reminder of a time when Saudi royals frequently indulged in high-end real estate investments in London.

However, with the ascension of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, a new era has dawned in Saudi Arabia.

The crown prince has implemented tighter financial controls on the royal family members, encouraging a shift in focus towards the country’s $650 billion sovereign wealth fund, known as the PIF.

This shift has propelled a new wave of influential and affluent individuals to the forefront of Saudi Arabia’s business landscape.

Notable among them is Yasir al-Rumayyan, the 53-year-old head of the PIF, who gained prominence following a Saudi-backed partnership with the PGA in the form of LIV Golf.

Additionally, al-Rumayyan holds influential positions in entities like Newcastle Football Club and Riyadh Air, the Kingdom’s new airline.

While London remains a favored destination for wealthy Saudis, the Kingdom is now actively striving to retain its wealth within its borders.

This effort includes developing new luxury projects in Riyadh and along the picturesque Red Sea coast.

Furthermore, a younger generation of Saudi entrepreneurs focusing on technology and finance has also started investing in properties in New York City, reflecting their expanding global reach.