Orthodox feud goes to court

By Simon Rocker, November 24, 2011

A High Court case opened on Wednesday involving a bitter feud between members of a London Orthodox family over the assets of a once flourishing property enterprise.

Joseph Ackerman is taking action against his sister-in-law Naomi Ackerman, and her son Barry Ackerman.

Joseph and his brother Jack built up a successful property business and a charity, Delapage, to aid Orthodox Jewish education and other causes. Delapage had funds of £80 million in 2008.

After Jack's death in 1989, his interests passed to his widow Naomi, while Joseph managed the business affairs.

In 2006, Mrs Ackerman no longer wanted her interests or those of her five children to be managed by Joseph. A tax barrister, Andrew Thornhill QC, was asked to arrange a division of the assets between the families.By 2009, however, many of the property group's investments had gone sour and many of its companies were in debt.

Early this year Mr Thornhill calculated that Naomi Ackerman was owed £20 million by her brother-in-law.He directed that a transfer of assets be made to her, including companies originally established to benefit Joseph's four daughters.

But Joseph Ackerman, who is also suing Mr Thornhill, claims that the barrister failed to act fairly or impartially. The case is due to last for 10 days.

Last updated: 12:57pm, November 24 2011