Reds "delighted" by court verdict

17 Feb, 2011

Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports Group, the Royal Bank of Scotland and former chairman Sir Martin Broughton remain confident Tom Hicks’ threat to sue over the sale of the club will fail after the Texan lost another court battle.

A High Court judge ruled Hicks must bring any claims he has in the UK and is not able to pursue a lawsuit in the United States, where damages can be much more punitive, without the permission of an English court.

But even should he press ahead with legal action in this country FSG, RBS and Broughton – who will be the subject of any claim – insist “there is no basis to challenge the propriety or validity of any actions”.

FSG (then New England Sports Ventures) bought Liverpool for £300million back in October against the wishes of Hicks and co-owner George Gillett.

Hicks claimed he was the victim of an “epic swindle” and wanted Mr Justice Floyd to lift anti-suit orders which prevented him taking action in the Texas courts to halt the deal in which he claims he lost £140 million.

However, the judge dismissed the application, although he did vary the injunction to allow Hicks to make applications in the US in support of any proceedings in this country.

“We are delighted that Mr Justice Floyd has granted the applications requested by Sir Martin Broughton, RBS and NESV and that the anti-suit injunction prohibiting the former owners from commencing legal actions against these parties outside the EU has been upheld and clarified,” said a Liverpool statement.

“Sir Martin, RBS and NESV continue to maintain that there is no basis to challenge the propriety or validity of any actions by them or any of those involved on their behalf in the sale of the club.

“They will continue to take all steps necessary to defend vigorously any litigation threatened or commenced by the club’s former owners.”

Mr Justice Floyd also dismissed an application to strike out or stay claims by Broughton seeking damages against Hicks for his actions while owner. NESV’s application to be allowed to join the Broughton action was granted by the judge.

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