U.K. Judge Rules That Tom Hicks Can't Bring $1.6-Bil Liverpool FC Claim to Court in Dallas

Categories: Biz, Sports
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Kit Nelson
As we noted last week, attorneys representing Tom Hicks in the U.K. were in court trying to get a judge there to overturn his ruling that keeps Hicks from suing in the U.S. over last October's sale of Liverpool FC to New England Sports Ventures. Hicks and his Dallas legal team, of course, temporarily stopped the sale by rushing to the George Allen and branded the October sale "an epic swindle" and have threatened ever since to sue for some $1.6 billion in damages in a Dallas courtroom. But they could only do so if the judge tore down his earlier roadblock.

This morning, the judge handed down his decision: If Hicks wants to sue, says Mr. Justice Floyd, he and George Gillett, with whom Hicks owned the soccer club, will have to do so in England. Wrote Floyd, "I am satisfied that the former owners have not shown any good reason why the injunction should be discharged." The judge, however, did make one slight alteration to his original order: As The Telegraph notes, Hicks can now "sue for disclosure of documents and information relating to the sale of the club in the US, but only if he gives the defendants and UK courts seven-days notice of any writ. The judge also gave [former Liverpool chairman Martin] Broughton and NESV permission to seek permanent protection against any damages claim from Hicks, technically known as 'negative declaratory relief.'"

Liverpool FC's present owners, of course, are delighted by the ruling and say in a statement issued today they "will continue to take all steps necessary to defend vigorously any litigation threatened or commenced by the Club's former owners." Hicks' local PR reps say he has no comment on the subject, and messages have been left with Tom Melsheimer at Fish & Richardson to see what he plans to do next

Update at 9:47 a.m: Melsheimer responds, via e-mail:
We are studying the ruling and looking at our options. Note that the ruling was, as expected, wholly procedural and not a decision on the merits of any claim. I can't say much more than that at this point.
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4 comments
Jofrad
Jofrad

The plot thickens - Martin Broughton is suing Tom Hicks (in an English court) for defamation of character. Oh the sweetness of life !

Jim
Jim

Don't see how it would effect his sale of the Stars, Rooster - if he isn't able to swindle anymore money out of Liverpool I suspect it will make his sale of the Stars even more necessary than it does at present.

You could argue that were he to be successful in his litigation against Liverpool, it may make him less likely to sell the Stars

I hope for the Stars sake they are removed from the confines of his ownership as soon as is humanly possible

Rooster
Rooster

Please, please, please, please, please dear Lord Baby Jesus, lying there in your...your little ghost manger, lookin' at your Baby Einstein developmental...videos, learnin' 'bout shapes and colors..., we hope that you can use your baby Jesus powers to make this not screw up Hick's sale of the Stars.Amen.

Anon
Anon

Justice Floyd makes some very interesting observations on the gaining of a Temporary Restraining Order in Texas - finding Hicks' explanation "difficult to understand and difficult to accept." He indicates some misgivings at to how incorrect information was given to the Texas court.Are we likely to see an investigation from Judge Jim Jordan as to how he was possibly misled and will there be any statements from Fish & Richardson as to how their attorneys came to deliver this information?

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