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Ecclestone hit with £4m legal bill

NEWS STORY
27/03/2014

Despite winning the legal case involving German media company Constantin Medien, Bernie Ecclestone must pay legal fees in excess of £4m.

The case, which saw the German media group demanding £85m ($140.4m) in damages, claiming that Ecclestone and others conspired to undervalue F1 when selling the business, ended with Mr Justice Newey ruling in favour of the F1 supremo but making it quite clear that he was less than impressed with him.

Newey, who had reserved judgement following the trial which ran from October to December, said he found it impossible to rely on Ecclestone as a "reliable" or "truthful" witness, but revealed that Constantin's case failed because it had been "no part" of Mr Ecclestone's purpose for shares to be sold at an "undervalue".

"No loss to Constantin has been shown to have been caused by the corrupt arrangement with Dr Gribkowsky," he said. "That fact is fatal to the claim."

However, referring to the payments Ecclestone made to Gribkowsky, the Judge said: "The payments were a bribe. They were made because Mr Ecclestone had entered into a corrupt agreement with Dr Gribkowsky in May 2005 under which Dr Gribkowsky was to be rewarded for facilitating the sale of BLB's shares in the Formula One group to a buyer acceptable to Mr Ecclestone."

In a further damaging blow to Ecclestone, especially with another trial about to get underway in Germany, Newey today ruled that the Briton would have to atone for giving "untruthful evidence" by paying half of his legal bill, even though it is 'traditional' in such cases that the loser pays the winner's legal bills.

Chris Balfe

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1. Posted by Dreadnaught, 27/03/2014 20:34

"Can you start a collection for the poor man. I am sure we should all like to chip in!"

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