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.”
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