A former girlfriend of Prince Andrew who worked as a model while studying at Cambridge, Staveley is a top dealmaker who runs PCP Capital Partners. It provides Middle Eastern royal families and leading businessmen with advice on acquisitions, wealth management and other financial services. She has won the trust of sheikhs to act on a wide range of deals, spanning telecoms, property and other sectors. Staveley, 44, is suing Barclays Bank for more than £700m over fees she says she should have received for her involvement in the 2008 deal that saw the Abu Dhabi ruling family take a £3.5bn stake in the bank, which helped it survive the financial crisis. It was reported that her role there and in the takeover of Premier League football club Manchester City made her £40m.
With a grand Regency townhouse in London and a home in Dubai, Staveley is working on hotel investments for her clients, who now include Americans and French. Born near Ripon, she comes from a wealthy family whose ancestors had a 175-acre North Yorkshire estate bestowed on them by Cardinal Wolsey and is married to Iranian banker Mehrdad Ghodoussi. Staveley’s fortune will increase markedly if she wins her court battle.