NOVEMBER 23, 2004
Meanwhile in court in London
The case between Speed Investments Ltd and Formula One Holdings Ltd kicked off at the High Court in London yesterday with Elizabeth Jones QC, for Speed Investments, asking Mr Justice Park for a summary judgement in the case, arguing that statements and evidence presented meant that the defendants had no real prospect of successfully defending the claim. This is interesting given that a top QC is unlikely to argue for such a move unless they are very confident of winning the case. Formula One Holdings took no part in the proceedings but says that it will accept the decision of the court. Jones argued that FOH had "engineered" control of the operating companies by means of "various corporate steps" in the summer of 2002 and gave details of the shareholders agreement which laid out how directors should be appointed. FOH is arguing that there was a mistake in the shareholders agreement which means that the appointments made are valid.
The case is vital for the future of Formula 1 as it will dictate who is allowed to appoint directors to the companies involved and thus who holds the power to decide who manages the business.
The Bayerische Landesbank, JP Morgan Chase and Lehman Bros, which own Speed Investments, argue that they have the majority shareholding and the right to appoint directors to reflect that.
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