Arbitration award of over $8 million in relation to Beirut Marriott Hotel
Real estate investor Ziad Fakhri has been awarded over $8 million in arbitration proceedings in Lebanon against company owned by Sabih al Masri, Chairman of Arab Bank Group, in relation to conspiracy and collusion with Marriott International Inc. (“Marriott”).
It follows criminal complaints filed against individuals associated with PwC and First National Bank (Lebanon) for fraudulent activity and obstruction of justice in relation to the long-running dispute between Marriott and Jnah Development SAL, formerly under majority ownership by Ziad Fakhri alongside his late father Sakr Fakhri, before acquisition by Sabih al Masri in 2009, under an entity named Shayah Holding SAL.
- Arbitration finds against company owned by well-known businessman Sabih al Masri
- ICC Tribunal to decide in November the $120m reopening arbitration case against international hotel giant Marriott International
Sole arbitrator Dr. Rayanne Assaf found that a $3.2 million payment from Marriott to an account named “Jnah Development Arbitration Case” at First National Bank constituted a fraudulent payment, as the account did not belong to Jnah Development SAL. The claims are supported by newly discovered evidence in 2021 showing the account at First National Bank did not belong to Jnah Development SAL and was used to channel alleged bribes to witnesses for testimony against Mr Fakhri. The arbitrator’s decision further awarded Mr. Fakhri around $2.5 million related to breach of trust as well as favourable declarations regarding the Marriott alleged bribe.
This action prevented Mr Ziad Fakhri at the time from continuing any claim against Marriott in relation to its breaches of contract and mismanagement of the Beirut Marriott Hotel, a deluxe, first class, full service international hotel, managed by Marriott since 1994.
Commenting, Mr Ziad Fakhri said: “Following this arbitration award and the recent favourable judgement in the Lebanese courts, I am pleased to be one step closer to finally seeing a fair resolution to this matter which began with Marriott’s breaches of contract and fraudulent activities over 20 years ago. I look forward to presenting my full case next month in Paris, highlighting activity that has defrauded me and denied my abilities to pursue a rightful claim against Marriott International Hotels and related individuals.”
In November 2023, an ICC Tribunal in Paris will review the reopening of an arbitration procedure for over $120 million in relation to this claim.