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Billionaire family battles over its £16 billion fortune

Mr Srichand Hinduja, aged 84, is suing his three younger brothers over controversy surrounding a letter stating that they all held each others assets.

The brothers Srichand, Gopichand, Prakash and Ashok all signed a July 2014 letter stating, “assets held in any single brother’s name belong to all four”. Srichand is now seeking a declaration to the effect that the letter has, “no legal effect, whether as a will, power of attorney, declaration of trust or other binding document”.

Subsequently the High Court has disclosed that the brothers are also involved in a legal dispute in Switzerland covering control of the Hinduja bank. The bank is held, seemingly, in Srichand’s sole name. In court dealings Mrs Justice Falk said Srichand Hinduja, who was described as “the current patriarch of the family”, had taken legal steps to “determine the validity and effect” of the letter. Furthermore the judge added that Srichand had said in a 2016 witness statement that “the July letter does not reflect his wishes and that the family’s assets should be separated”.

Latterly Judge Falk appointed Srichand’s daughter Vinoo to conduct proceedings on her father’s behalf after claims he is suffering from dementia. The defendants lawyers objected to her role as they claimed the daughter had, “her own separate financial interest in pursuing the proceedings”.

The brothers, who are co-chairmen of the India-based conglomerate the Hinduja Group, lists banking, oil and property among its global ventures. The business came second only to inventor Sir James Dyson in the Sunday Times 2020 Rich List.

Hinduja Group employs 150,000 people and has its headquarters in London. The firm was founded in Mumbai in 1914.