Princess Nouf bint Khalid bin Abdullah Al Saud – daughter-in-law of King Salmon of Saudi Arabia – has been accused of withholding fees from her agent for property deals he helped broker in London and the Home Counties.
Mohamed Hussein cites the princess’s refusal to pay as a breach in contract and is suing the princess for £6 million. His lawyers maintain that ‘Princess Nouf was enriched at his expense’ as the result of his negotiations and dealings that made her millions of pounds more than anticipated.
Princess Nouf is the widow of Prince Fahd, the eldest son of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Princess Nouf has been supported by King Salman since her husband’s death in July 2001 and spends her time jetting between Saudi Arabia, the US and South Kensington.
Mohamed Hussein was previously Princess Nouf’s private secretary, and in 2004 she arranged for him to handle the sale of her 30-acre estate near Ascot – Harewood – which has three palatial houses and extensive grounds and gardens.
Though the princess was advised by agents of both Knight Frank and Savills to drop the price to £18m and to consider offers as low as £13, Mr Hussein was convinced he could make the sale at the original asking price of £22m. His confidence came from the knowledge that an estate in nearby Wentworth Park had been sold to a Russian oligarch for at least £18m.
In the High Court Mr Hussein’s lawyers said that: ‘Knowing that other Russian businessmen were looking to acquire properties in that area…Mr Hussein advised Princess Nouf that the market value of the Harewood Estate was around £25m.’ He went on to secure the estate sale for more than £25m in December 2004 when it was purchased by billionaire Russian industrialist Andrey Melnichenko.’
Under the terms of his agreement with the princess Hussein maintains he had rights to a fee of 1.5% of the Harewood Estate sale price – £375,000. This is, however, just one of several examples of the work Hussein has done for which he is owed. He is seeing £6,079,342.97 in owed fees from Princess Nouf, an amount that he was promised by the princess originally and then again by her eldest son, Prince Sultan bin Fahd, in May 2016.
Mishcon de Reya – the princess’s solicitors – maintain that: ‘We do not comment on client matters; and our client looks forward to the High Court determining this matter.’