Judge slams Arrows management

Enrique Bernoldi

Enrique Bernoldi 

 © The Cahier Archive

THE 17-page judgement against Arrows in the High Court in London proved to be a damning indictment of the way in which the company has been run in recent years. Justice Sir Gavin Lightman said that the defendants "can only be described as underhand and improper, indeed downright dishonest".

Later in his ruling the judge said that "the only inference I can draw from this state of affairs is that AGPI is prepared to say or do anything which it thinks best suits its interests".

The judge concluded that Arrows Grand Prix International "is and has long been insolvent" and that "I think that if the management of Arrows is placed in competent and honest hands something of real value may be salvaged for Morgan Grenfell Private Equity and other creditors".

The judge added that "I am concerned for all the creditors of Arrows. The management of Arrows however are responsible for the prolonged insolvent trading and if Arrows goes into liquidation, administration or receivership (as appears practically inevitable) creditors may have to seek relief against the directors in proceedings for wrongful and fraudulent trading".

The case is damning not only for the Arrows team but also for its fellow defendants: Tom Walkinshaw, company secretary Alister Mitchell, team lawyer Kate Beavan, Broadstone Estates Ltd., TWR Group and Motorsport Holdings Ltd..

It remains to be seen whether this judgement will open the way to further legal action against the parties involved but on Thursday evening it looked as though Walkinshaw has still not given up the fight. He circulated a letter to rival F1 teams asking them to agree to allow Arrows to start a completely new team called Red Bull Team USA with a completely new company number without any debt. This would be contrary to the clauses in the Concorde Agreement and it is not thought likely that the team bosses will all agree to it.

In the early evening the Arrows F1 cars were returned to the paddock in an unmarked trailer, having presumably spent the day out of harm's way in case anyone tried to seize them. Jos Verstappen goes to court with the team tomorrow, seeking an injunction...

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