Who sold Craven Cottage

Actually it was the last owner, Mohammed Fayed


As reported in the media

The Lawyer

  1. http://www.thelawyer.com/forsters-‘reckless’-over-craven-cottage-advice/108380.article

  1. Forsters ‘reckless’ over Craven Cottage advice

  2. 9 February 2004

  3. Emma Vere-Jones

  4. A legal battle over the sale of Fulham football ground Craven Cottage has seen Forsters senior partner Sophie Hamilton chided by a High Court judge, and has also revealed that the firm has lost the bulk of its work for property developer client Crown Dilmun.

  5. Crown Dilmun v Nicholas Sutton and Fulham River Projects (FRP) revolves around the £50m sale of Craven Cottage. Crown Dilmun claimed that former Fulham director Sutton had taken the opportunity to purchase the ground for redevelopment for himself, thereby breaching his fiduciary duty to his former employer.

  6. Hamilton advised Sutton on the purchase, and is also the sole director of the second defendant FRP, the vehicle used to purchase the ground.

  7. Although Mr Justice Peter Smith ruled that Forsters had initially been misled by Sutton, he also said that Hamilton had been “reckless” in continuing to advise him. Judge Smith also said that she had then sought to protect her position in a self-serving way.

  8. The bulk of Crown Dilmun’s work is now being handled by Wedlake Bell, after it hired former Forsters partner Kim Lalli last year. Forsters retains some construction and residential development work.

  9. Forsters managing partner Paul Roberts said that the firm was “surprised and disappointed by some of the judge’s comments”, in which neither Forsters nor Hamilton were parties.

  10. Sutton, who the court found had acted dishonestly, has not ruled out an appeal, but is waiting until after a costs hearing to make a decision. FRP is understood to be seeking leave to appeal.

  11. Nabarros also left red-faced in Crown Dilmun v Sutton

  12. While Forsters got a rap over the knuckles in Crown Dilmun v Nicholas Sutton, the judgment also revealed a rather embarrassing incident for Nabarro Nathanson, which was acting for the bank financing Sutton’s bid.

  13. “They [Nabarro Nathanson] had left some confidential documents relating to the [the possible sale of Craven Cottage to Sutton] in a taxi. The taxi driver had discovered them, saw the reference to Mr Al-Fayed and handed the confidential documents about the purchaser’s financing proposals to the seller. Not surprisingly, Mr Sutton was concerned.”

  14. It is understood that while the client is still with Nabarros, the partner involved is not.

The Guardian

  1. http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2004/feb/07/newsstory.sport7

  2. Judge slams lawyer over
    Fulham slip

  3. Lawyer criticised over advice given to property developer

  4. Saturday 7 February 2004

  5. A lawyer involved in the controversial sale of Fulham's Craven Cottage ground to a property consortium has been heavily criticised by a high court judge for her role in the affair.

  6. Sophie Hamilton, a partner at the Mayfair firm Forsters, is the sole director of Fulham River Projects Limited, which purchased an option to buy the ground for £15m last year.

  7. Hamilton advised Nick Sutton, the developer behind FRPL, over the purchase. He has subsequently been sued by his former company Crown Dilmun for passing up the chance to buy the property for them and instead quitting and buying it himself.

  8. Mr Justice Peter Smith said Hamilton had failed to appreciate her client's breach of duty to his then employer. "Alarm bells should have rung and they did not even tinkle," the judge said. Fulham are due to return to the Cottage from the start of next season, but are still seeking a new home.

  9. Several leading football agents have responded to recent criticism of their trade by arranging to meet with the aim of establishing a pan-European body that will award a trademark to reputable agents, a move they believe will encourage ethical behaviour among their peers.

  1. Well! It cannot but be obvious to anybody reading about all this for the first time not to conclude that whatever happened, surely the owner of the club couldn’t have been kept in the dark during all these shenanigans. At least the advice he’d obviously been listening to had to have been far from accurate.

  2. It was said at the time that his ‘Advisors’ had maintained that the Cottage site could never be re-developed to be an all-seater stadium within the existing fabric of the ground. Lucky for us that well-connected fans under the auspices of Fulham 2000 were able to gain access to Mohamed Al Fayed with a viable solution to this problem.