F1 boss Ecclestone wins latest legal battle

Bernie Ecclestone: Denied any conspiracy.

Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has won the latest round of a legal fight with a German media company.

In February, a High Court judge dismissed a claim for around £80m (€102m) in damages by Constantin Medien after a trial in London.

A Court of Appeal judge yesterday refused to allow Constantin to challenge that decision.

Constantin accused Ecclestone of entering into a “corrupt agreement” with a banker to facilitate the sale of the Formula 1 Group to a buyer chosen by him. The company said it had lost out as a result. Ecclestone disputed Constantin’s claim.

Lawyers for Constantin told the High Court that payments totalling about £27m were made to Gerhard Gribkowsky — a “senior-ranking official” at a German bank — at the instigation of Ecclestone.

They said a “corrupt arrangement” was entered into between Ecclestone and Gribkowsky in 2005.

Ecclestone said Constantin’s claim lacked “any merit” and denied any conspiracy.

He said he paid Gribkowsky £10m because the banker had insinuated that he would create difficulties with tax authorities.

Justice Newey had concluded in February that payments made were a “bribe”.

He said they were made because Ecclestone had entered into a “corrupt agreement” with the banker in 2005. But he said no loss to Constantin had been proved and therefore the company’s claim failed.

Appeal court judge Justice Patten yesterday refused to give Constantin permission to mount an appeal against Justice Newey’s ruling.

He said he had analysed legal argument put forward by Constantin and concluded that an appeal had “no real prospect of success”.

Justice Patten said Justice Newey reached conclusions he was “entitled to reach” given evidence before him.

“I see no prospect of this court interfering with his findings,” said Justice Patten. “I have therefore concluded that an appeal... would have no real prospect of success.”


These are the nail hues to choose this season, says Katie Wright.Perfectly polished: 5 autumn/winter nail trends you’ll actually want to wear

This early 19th-century table is one of a number of Irish lots at Sotheby’s Style, Furniture and Ceramics sale in New York on Thursday (October 24).Irish lots poised to add bite to Big Apple sale

Something for all at Hegarty’s auction in Bandon, says Des O’SullivanSomething for all at Hegarty’s auction in Bandon

Des O’Sullivan gives a preview of the Irish selection on offer at two sales in DublinPreview of the Irish selection on offer at two sales in Dublin

More From The Irish Examiner