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US court ruling sees Williams enjoy 26m windfall

NEWS STORY
07/12/2022

A US court has found in favour of Williams following the title sponsorship deal that went sour.

Having lost title sponsor Martini at the end of 2018, in February 2019, days before pre-season testing got underway, Williams announced a new title sponsorship with ROKiT, the telecommunications business founded by John-Paul DeJoria and Jonathan Kendrick a British entrepreneur who had previously worked as an engineer for the Grove outfit.

Just five months later, it was announced that Williams and ROKiT had decided to extend their partnership until 2023, thereby demonstrating the "long-term commitment between the two companies and a stable base from which to deliver the partnership's strategic goals, while in October Williams announced a new partnership with ROKiT Drinks, "a premium beverages business with a unique collection of award-winning spirits, beers, water and energy drinks".

In May 2020, with the season yet to begin due to the pandemic the Grove outfit announced that it had terminated its partnership with ROKiT, team boss Claire Williams stating that the team had “met all our contractual obligations”, while ROKit insisted it hadn’t.

Meanwhile ROKit remained fully committed to its other motorsport partnerships, which include the ROKiT Venturi Formula E team and involvement in W Series, British Rally and British Touring Car championships in which it backs Nicholas Hamilton.

It was claimed that ROKit had withheld payments totalling an alleged 10m "for the period up until the end of 2019", and while the team has since been bought by Dorilton Capital the matter went to court.

Earlier this year a federal court in Los Angeles found in favour of Williams and awarded it $35.8m (29.1m) in compensation. However, ROKit was having none of it and chose to continue fighting the case.

The United States District Court for the Central District of California, presided by Judge Christina A Synder, has now ruled that ROKiT is indeed liable to pay was once again liable to pay $32.2m (26.2m) to Williams plus a further $1.2m (1m) in legal costs.

ROKit continues to sponsor the Venturi team in Formula E and this year also sponsored A J Foyt Racing in IndyCar, however "missed payments" meant that the team had to withdraw Tatiana Calderon's entry just seven races into the season.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by kenji, 08/12/2022 1:09

"The Williams estate was, IIRC, sometime in the late teens estimated at a value of $120M enabling them to lead a not too impoverished lifestyle!"

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2. Posted by kenji, 05/12/2022 23:56

"The Williams family don't need any financial assistamce....theyr're filthy rich as it is."

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3. Posted by BrightonCorgi, 05/12/2022 20:41

"I hope the Williams family gets some of it. "

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4. Posted by Anthony, 05/12/2022 15:13

"I think that the recovery is split evenly between the Williams company and Dorilton."

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5. Posted by didaho, 05/12/2022 13:21

"The last straw for the William's family involvement? And yet proceeds to remain with Dorilton?"

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