A firm of private investigators headed by the former Metropolitan police commissioner Lord Stevens faces an inquiry by the privacy watchdog over a bugging operation at the Ritz hotel in London.
The billionaire Sir Frederick Barclay was secretly recorded at the hotel, which members of his family owned until three months ago, after a bug was planted by his nephew Alistair.
It has been alleged in the High Court that the operation breached data-protection laws and other people may also have been unwittingly recorded. Quest Global, part of a London investigative group headed by Stevens, invoiced for 405 hours to listen to and transcribe the recordings, according to evidence in a court judgment.
It is also alleged it provided a wi-fi bug. It faces