Legal Updates

Sports Law - Liverpool FC: Former part owner of Liverpool FC, Tom Hicks, has failed in his petition for leave to sue Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and the former directors of Liverpool FC in the US


In October 2010, we reported that Tunde Oyedele from the Sports Law team was asked by Ominsport (part of the Perform Group), to comment on the decision of the High Court to rule against Tom Hicks and George Gillett in their efforts to remove Christian Purslow and Ian Ayre from the Board of Directors of LFC, and thereby influence the subsequent sale of LFC.


The sale of the Football Club went ahead in October 2010 for a figure reportedly in the region of £300,000,000.  Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett are seeking damages in the region of $1bn (£620,000,000) from RBS and the former directors of the football club but, in the High Court today, their application for leave to bring an action in the US was denied.


The former owners argued that the sale of the club to New England Sports Ventures (now known as Fenway Sports Group) was at a substantial undervalue. However, the High Court judge dismissed their application along with their application to strike out claims by RBS and former chairman of the club, Sir Martin Broughton, who are seeking damages against Mr Hicks for his actions and conduct while owner of the football club.  Further, Mr Justice Floyd granted an application from Fenway Sports Group to be joined as a claimant in the action against Mr Hicks.


This seems to be a very bleak day for Hicks and Gillett and a further successful step forward for those currently associated with Liverpool FC.


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© RT COOPERS, 2011. This Briefing Note does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the law relating to the issues discussed nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight general issues. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to particular circumstances.


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