The ‘Team Lotus’ court room race is on

The current Tune Group’s Team Lotus Vs Proton-owned Lotus in the ‘race’ for the ‘Team Lotus’ positioning has gone into a twist. On Monday, High Court in England decided that the hearing shall continue.

Yahoo sports reported this:

Fernandes ‘happy’ with initial Lotus court ruling

Tue, 25 Jan 08:00:56 2011

Team Lotus boss Tony Fernandes has said that he is ‘very, very happy’ with the outcome of the first day of legal proceedings in the drawn-out naming row with Proton-owned Group Lotus, even though nothing of note was decided.

The Malaysian insisted that ‘the good do always eventually win’ after being told that a resolution would be reached before the F1 season gets into full swing, having previously faced the prospect of having to wait almost until its conclusion to get the unwanted distraction out of the way. High Court judge Justice Peter Smith announced on Monday [24 January] that the matter would be brought to a head on 21 March, although he urged both sides to try to and find an amicable solution well before then.

The two sides – who are on course to both field Lotus-Renaults in the 2011 F1 campaign – appeared at the High Court in London as Group Lotus’ new CEO Dany Bahar sought a summary judgement against Fernandes’ Team Lotus in an effort to prevent the case from going to full trial, but that request was rejected by the judge, who also decreed that allowing the situation – which looks likely to cast an embarrassing shadow over F1 until resolved – to rumble on until November would be pointless and potentially damaging. The subsequently-agreed March date comes between the season-opening Bahrain GP and round two of the season in Australia.

“Very very happy over the judgment today,” Fernandes wrote on his Twitter feed, “And extremely happy that full trial brought forward to 21 March.The good do always eventually win.”

The Malaysian, who brought the Lotus name back to F1 in 2010 as one of three expansion teams added to the grid alongside Virgin Racing and HRT, had hoped to run as Lotus Racing for at least five years, the length of the licence granted by Proton-owned Group Lotus. However, after a solid campaign, he was angered by the latter’s decision to rescind the licence in order to itself enter the top flight, agreeing a tie-up with the Renault F1 team, which will now run as Lotus Renault from 2011.

Fernandes contends that Group Lotus illegally terminated the branding licence granted to his 1Malaysia Racing Team operation, but faces an additional showdown with the Malaysian manufacturer after snapping up the Team Lotus name – under which the original Lotus team ran – from businessman David Hunt, the younger brother of 1976 world champion James, who acquired the rights to use it before the team’s demise in 1994. Proton, meanwhile, argues that the rights were never Hunt’s to sell in the first place, despite the Englishman claiming that he had previously offered them to the Malaysians.

“Today’s case is Group [Lotus’] desperate attempt to use their one-way unlawful termination of license agreement of Lotus Racing,” Fernandes claimed in a separate post, “Saying One Malaysia can’t use Lotus. Part of post-termination clauses. So nothing changes on Team Lotus.”

He also accepted that the on-going row was not exactly clear for many fans, with both sides having sought legal proceedings for different reasons.

“Many confused about case today,” he continued, “It’s not about Team Lotus name, who owns it, which is in November. We brought that case to prove once and for all.”

Fernandes’ team, meanwhile, is pushing on with its construction programme ahead of the first pre-season test next month. Chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne, another prolific Twitter user, used his personal feed to report that the team’s first car was gradually edging towards completion.


Fernandes’s isn’t entirely accurate.  This is strongly believed to be the Tune Group CEO’s statement, extracted from the F1 Times dated Monday 24 January 2011:

“Team Lotus is delighted that we were successful at the Summary Judgment Application hearing today and that the Jusge threw out Group Lotus’ application even before hearing the arguments of the barristers on either side.

Although this decision was never in doubt, it means that we start the 2011 season under the Team Lotus name. Whilst we expected that the Judge would refuse this application, it is good to have the decision in black and white.

The Judge also felt that it was in everyone’s best interests to bring the hearing date for the full trial forward and that is now fixed for 21st March rather than us having to wait until Autumn 2011 or even later. We remain confident that we will succeed at the full trial ans we can now focus on the challenges ahead in the 2011 FIA Formula One World Championship.”


The High Court Judge never threw the Group Lotus’s application out. In fact, the High court Judge asked for a ‘mediation’ and “team of lawyers that they should think about settlement before they spend 10 days in court “.

Excerpts from what the High court Judge said:

“If you ever reach that stage.  The only other thing is that dreadful word “mediation”.  Is there any prospect of a mediated settlement in this case?  I would suspect that the only possible time for mediation is after you have had your disclosure and exchange of witness statements. My experience is mediation does not take place when everything  is still inchoate.  Maybe I do not need to say to such an experienced team of lawyers that they should think about settlement before they spend 10 days in court”


It is very manipulative for Fernandes to suggest otherwise. How could he be sub-judice on what the High Court Judge will decide. Then again, he is known to use some degree of virtuoso of deceit t as his ways of getting things done.

If Malaysians are confused about the case, then probably Malaysians should read the transcript of the legal proceeding in the London High Court on Monday and make their own conclusions.

It is posted here verbatim for the public consumption of the Malaysian bloggosphere:

1     IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE          Claim No. HC 10 C03151



3                                           Royal Courts of Justice,

4                                           Monday, 24th January 2011

5                                    Before:

6                            MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH

7                                 ————–

8         B E T W E E N:

9                                GROUP LOTUS PLC





12                        (1) 1MALAYSIA RACING TEAM SDN BHD


13                             (3) TUNE GROUP SDN BHD


14                    (5) 1MALAYSIA RACING TEAM (UK) LIMITED





Computer-aided transcript by: Marten Walsh Cherer Limited,

17          1st Floor, 6-9 Quality Court, Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1HP.

Telephone: 020 7067 2900  email:





20         SNR Denton UK LLP) appeared for the Claimant.

21     MR. GUY MORPUSS QC and MS. PATRICIA EDWARDS (instructed by

MacFarlanes LLP) appeared for the 1st Defendant.









2      MR. SILVERLEAF:  May it please you, my Lord.  In this matter I

3          appear with my learned friend Mr. Kennelly for the claimant

4          and my learned friends Mr. Morpuss and Ms. Edwards appear for

5          the defendants.

6      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  Do you appear for all the defendants

7          today or are you just doing one?

8      MR. MORPUSS:  Only 1MRT and that is the only defendant to this

9          application, although MacFarlanes and I and my learned junior

10          do represent the other defendants as well.


12      MR. SILVERLEAF:  My Lord, this application today before the court

13          is for summary judgment on a single isolated issue arising

14          under the trade mark licence granted by Group Lotus to

15          1Malaysia Racing (whom I will call “1MRT” for short, if I may)

16          in 2009 to race in Formula One under the name LOTUS RACING.

17                Your Lordship has had a rather voluminous set of

18          papers —-

19      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  But no reading list.

20      MR. SILVERLEAF:  I am very sorry, my Lord.  Have you had the

21          opportunity to read at least the skeleton arguments?

22      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  I have read the skeleton arguments, I

23          have read the pleadings and I have glanced at the witness

24          statements and I have read most of the historical agreements

25          and the 2009 —-



2      MR. SILVERLEAF:  I am very grateful, my Lord.  That should speed

3          things up enormously.

4      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  I think things could be sped up

5          enormously another way.  When are you proposing to have the

6          trial of the rest of the action?

7      MR. SILVERLEAF:  We have, I think, been given a trial window of

8          early next year.

9      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  How long do you estimate the trial?

10      MR. SILVERLEAF:  I think it is 10 days, my Lord.  There are two

11          problems.  One is, obviously the 2011 racing season is about

12          to start.

13      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  It starts in Bahrain, 17th March?

14      MR. SILVERLEAF:  The middle of March, yes.  The other is that I

15          think the parties are agreed we need to ask the court to

16          expedite the full trial in any event so that it takes place

17          before the 2012 season.

18      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  No.  I think we should expedite it so

19          that it starts before the 2011 season.  I think we should have

20          a speedy trial of the whole action before, certainly, the end

21          of March.  I think we should set a timetable to hear the whole

22          action then.  There are no resource issues in this case, given

23          the schedules of costs that have been provided to me.  Let us

24          get it all sorted in one go.

25      MR. SILVERLEAF:  My Lord, obviously I will have to take



2          instructions on that.  I suspect my learned friend will as

3          well.

4      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  We have had the pleadings.  There has

5          not been a reply and defence to the counterclaim yet, has

6          there?

7      MR. SILVERLEAF:  The pleadings are closed.  I believe there is

8          still outstanding a request for further information from us to

9          the defendants which has not been answered.  Apart from that,

10          I suspect the pleadings are terminated.

11      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  I think both ought to take instructions.

12          I am sure we can get this trial on.  I have already made

13          inquiries of the Listing Officer and we can get a 10 day trial

14          on this term.  It is a shame you did not apply for this back

15          in front of Briggs J in November, but the parties can do it,

16          so far as I can see.  There are no resource issues — just for

17          lots of people.  That is it.

18      MR. SILVERLEAF:  My Lord, in that case —-

19      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  I will rise if you like and you can

20          both —-

21      MR. SILVERLEAF:  I do not think I can take instructions without

22          your Lordship rising.

23      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  No.  It is best I do not hear what you

24          say — good or bad.

25      MR. SILVERLEAF:  Indeed, my Lord.  Can we have 10 minutes?



2      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  Have as long as you like.

3                              (A short adjournment)

4      MR. SILVERLEAF:  My Lord, thank you very much for the opportunity

5          to take instructions.  Our position is that it is a tough call

6          to do a trial that quickly but we think we can do it and if

7          your Lordship wishes to direct a speedy trial we would be

8          delighted.  Obviously, we would like to dispose of this

9          dispute before the season begins and, frankly, if we can

10          dispose of it early in the season that is almost as good.  I

11          have to tell your Lordship that the only reason we did not ask

12          for a speedy trial at the outset is that we did not think the

13          other side would agree.  I wait to hear what my learned friend

14          says.

15      MR. MORPUSS:  My Lord, much as we would like to see this resolved,

16          with the best will in the world we do not see that it is going

17          to be capable of being resolved by March or even the end of

18          March as a trial.

19      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  Why not?

20      MR. MORPUSS:  It is all very well, my Lord, to just throw

21          resources at a case, and your Lordship is right that there are

22          plenty of solicitors and there are plenty of funds on both

23          sides.  But we have all seen cases where solicitors simply

24          throw trainees and resources at cases.  Unless those are well

25          managed and well directed what one ends up with is people



2          simply running round like headless chickens and it does not

3          get one anywhere.

4      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  That is a matter of getting resources

5          sorted out.

6      MR. MORPUSS:  It is, my Lord, but simply saying there are endless

7          resources is not the answer.  The question is what we can

8          actually achieve in six to eight weeks.  The concern —-

9      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  You ought to look at my decision in Re

10          Crowson Fabrics where I directed a trial on the Friday to

11          start on the following Wednesday.

12      MR. MORPUSS:  Yes, but of course —-

13      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  And it did.  That was a lot shorter than

14          this, obviously, but I see no reason why this cannot be put in

15          in six weeks.

16      MR. MORPUSS:  That is what I was going to say to your Lordship.

17          Of course, it depends very much on the case.  There are a

18          couple of concerns that we have.  One is that this application

19          was made on 20th October last year.  If we had been approached

20          then for an expedited trial it could have been approached with

21          a view to seeing whether we could get it on in February or

22          March before the season started — an expedited trial properly

23          arranged and managed.

24                It is the claimant who chose to make this application

25          for summary judgment which we submit, if we get to it, is a



2          hopeless application and the only way of resolving this is a

3          trial.  Because of their application everyone has been focused

4          for the last few months on that.  As far as the other four

5          defendants go that I act for, we have not been focusing at all

6          on the rest of the case beyond pleading out the issues in the

7          pleadings.  It has all been focused on dealing with this and

8          we have not been off exploring the evidence that we need to

9          produce.

10                My learned friends have turned up with Mr. Monk, the

11          Group Lotus employee from 1978.  He criticises my side for not

12          having an equivalent.  We have approached some other witnesses

13          may be able to call but we are at a very early stage in those

14          inquiries.  We can get on with those but trying to do it in a

15          matter of weeks is going to be pretty difficult, my Lord.

16      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  The history is very interesting but the

17          history involves examining the chains of devolution of the

18          various marks through various companies and through various

19          agreements, does it not?  That is the primary issue as to

20          whether or not the defendants have an independent right to use

21          TEAM LOTUS, is it not?

22      MR. MORPUSS:  There are two limbs to it, my Lord.  Your Lordship

23          has rightly identified one of them, which is whether the chain

24          of agreements passes through Mr. Hunt to my clients.  But

25          there is another limb to it which is the one that my learned



2          friend takes in his skeleton on this application, which is

3          whether the goodwill in TEAM LOTUS and Group Lotus is

4          divisible or indivisible.  That is a central question on the

5          historic relationship between the two companies.  No one has

6          bottomed that out yet.  Your Lordship has looked at the 1985

7          agreement and one of the things that appears in the 1985

8          agreement is a reference to a 1986 agreement.  There is some

9          suggestion in the papers that things changed after 1968, in

10          the same agreement, that after 1968 there was a clear

11          separation of the companies.

12      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  Mr. Hunt is still around, presumably, is

13          he not?

14      MR. MORPUSS:  I believe so, my Lord, yes.

15      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  And Mr. Hunt has been around during the

16          whole of the period of these operations.  You will be able to

17          speak to Mr. Hunt.  He has sold his interest in the companies,

18          presumably for some money, and he will, no doubt, co-operate

19          with Mr. Fernandes.  Given Mr. Hunt’s stated belief that since

20          1995 he has been trying to get TEAM LOTUS back on to the

21          Formula One front, he would be very keen to see this happen,

22          would he not?

23      MR. MORPUSS:  One would have thought so, my Lord, and it is likely

24          he can give some helpful evidence from that period onwards.

25      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  My view with these things is that if we



2          pick a date and we say the trial will start then and we set a

3          timetable and we police what goes on between now and then —

4          it is no good looking backwards and saying, “But the claimant

5          could have made an application earlier.”  That is gone now —

6          if there are any difficulties what I do with cases like this

7          is I police the operation of the order to ensure that it

8          happens.

9      MR. MORPUSS:  Of course, my Lord.

10      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  It is very difficult for parties, in my

11          view, to come to court and say, “We have got this big point to

12          be decided before the commitment of the Formula One season”

13          and then, when they are offered a chance to have the case

14          heard, say, “Ah but we want to kick it into the long grass for

15          another year”.

16      MR. MORPUSS:  My Lord, it is certainly not our desire to kick it

17          into the long grass but we didn’t come to court saying, “We

18          want to have this resolved”.  It is my learned friend’s

19          application for expedition which Briggs J granted.  I am not

20          trying to be difficult, but I am simply looking at the

21          practicalities of —-

22      MR. SILVERLEAF:  With your consent.

23      MR. MORPUSS:  No, without our objection.  We did not consent to

24          it, if it matters.

25                But, my Lord, there is also the question of disclosure.



2          What is going to happen is that there are a lot of documents

3          to come out of Group Lotus.  If disclosure is going to be done

4          in a matter of a few weeks, inevitably there will be arguments

5          about what is proportionate to do in the disclosure exercise

6          and, given how important the history is and how important it

7          is to dig out documents where there are not witnesses —-

8      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  I had the same arguments in the Candy

9          Bros. litigation last year when they told me in March they

10          could not possibly meet a trial timetable in May.  I rejected

11          that, I set a timetable and the trial was heard in May.  Their

12          arguments there were the same point:  thousands of pounds of

13          documents hidden away in various places and disclosure cannot

14          take place.

15                My view is that we set a timetable, the parties approach

16          it with their best endeavours and if there are any

17          difficulties then you come back to me on a liberty to apply

18          provision and we will see where we are going.  I firmly

19          believe the parties should make an attempt to have this issue

20          resolved before the Formula One season starts this year or has

21          gone too far.

22      MR. MORPUSS:  My Lord, could I just pick up on that last point

23          which is getting it resolved before the Formula One season

24          starts.  The season, I am told, starts on 11th March in

25          Bahrain and then it moves on to Melbourne at the end of March.



2      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  And then there is a bit of gap.

3      MR. MORPUSS:  On 8th April they are in Malaysia and then, on

4          15th April, in Shanghai.  The concern we have is that from

5          early March onwards, when the team have all gone out there,

6          everyone is going to have disappeared and in terms of

7          witnesses that we need from the clients or witnesses from

8          Formula One, they are all out in the Far East for a couple of

9          months.

10      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  The only area where you are likely to

11          have witnesses is over the allegations concerning the 2009

12          agreement as to whether or not it was broken by your clients

13          or not and whether the claimant broke it.

14      MR. MORPUSS:  Yes, my Lord.

15      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  Once again, we can always adapt, in the

16          modern world, to the hearing of evidence in the modern world

17          to the hearing of evidence by video link or an appropriate

18          timetabling of the case.  I firmly believe that parties have a

19          right, and, of course, have a duty to have their dispute

20          resolved quickly and, given the importance of this case, I

21          think it ought to be heard, if possible, sometime in March.

22          You might lose two.  It may slip into April.  But the vast

23          bulk, subject, of course, to anybody’s right to appeal (but

24          that is a different story, that is not my concern), of the

25          Formula One 2011 ought to take place with at least a first



2          instance decision as to the rights between the parties.  That,

3          of course, also assumes that the parties do not become

4          sensible in the meantime and negotiate a settlement.  Speedy

5          trials concentrate people’s minds in that regard as well.

6      MR. MORPUSS:  Of course they do, my Lord.  May I add one other

7          point, then, my Lord, which is this.  An application of this

8          sort is not going to resolve the use of TEAM LOTUS by my

9          learned friend in the 2011 season.  It is not the purpose of

10          this application that his team can use the name TEAM LOTUS.

11          All the entries have been made for the Formula One

12          championships.  They are sponsoring the Renault Team who have

13          to use the word “Renault” in their name because that is their

14          chassis name.  So even if there is a speedy trial it is not

15          going to result in my learned friend being able to use the

16          name TEAM LOTUS this season.

17      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  Has he got an application to do that?

18      MR. MORPUSS:  No.  That was my point, my Lord.

19      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  No.  The whole point is stopping you

20          using it, is it not?

21      MR. MORPUSS:  Yes.  That is what they want to do.  It is a dog in

22          the manger application.  They do not want to use it

23          themselves.  They want to stop us using it.

24      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  It is a commercial dispute between two

25          commercial organisations as to their respective rights.  This



2          regularly happens.  No doubt there will be the prospect of

3          money changing hands one way or another as leading to an

4          inducement to resolve the dispute.  If they have a right to

5          stop you using TEAM LOTUS, they are entitled to seek to

6          exercise it.  Equally, if you have a right to use TEAM LOTUS,

7          you should be able to do that free from them.

8      MR. MORPUSS:  Yes.

9      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  I am giving both sides an opportunity to

10          have this resolved now rather than later.

11      MR. MORPUSS:  My Lord, as I say, we are keen to have it —-

12      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  If you do not have that and it goes off

13          to another year and there is no application by the claimant

14          for interim relief, you will then have, hanging over the 2011

15          season, the question as whether or not your clients,

16          legitimately, are entitled to use TEAM LOTUS.  If, at the end

17          of next year, the court determines you were not, then there

18          are going to be all manner of arguments about the relief, is

19          there not?

20      MR. MORPUSS:  My Lord, as I said, we are enthusiastic about

21          getting it resolved early.

22      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  Good.  I am glad to hear it.

23      MR. MORPUSS:  But we would like it to be done in an orderly way

24          and we feel that March is too soon.  From our point of view,

25          if we win the trial, we want to stop them, for example, using



2          the black and gold livery of TEAM LOTUS which they use —-

3      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  Have you claimed that in your

4          counterclaim?

5      MR. MORPUSS:  That is something that we need to amend, my Lord,

6          because it has only happened after our last round of pleadings

7          was served.  If we get into a discussion about directions,

8          that is a direction I would ask, for leave to amend the

9          defence and counterclaim to bring that claim.

10                My Lord, the reality is that if you order this we will

11          work towards it with the best will in the world but we may be

12          coming back in a few weeks and saying it is just not possible.

13          But, obviously, if your Lordship wants to have a trial in

14          March we will do what we can.

15      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  I will, of course, entertain

16          applications, by either side if they come and tell me, “The

17          timetable is so strict that I cannot fairly present my

18          client’s case”.  I will not force a trial if it is going to an

19          injustice in that way, but I do believe the parties ought, at

20          least, to make a serious attempt to have a trial as early as

21          possible in March.

22      MR. MORPUSS:  The final point, I would say, my Lord, is we have

23          not been able to take any instructions from the clients and

24          the points I have been putting to your Lordship are simply the

25          considerations that the legal team has come up with.  Our



2          clients are out in the Far East, obviously.

3      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  I understand that.  They are all

4          probably safely in bed now.

5      MR. MORPUSS:  Yes.

6      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  I would, in any event, give you liberty

7          to apply on 24 hours’ notice back to me on any issue.  That is

8          my standard case management direction anyway.

9                Given that, we need a timetable for a speedy trial, do

10          we not?

11      MR. SILVERLEAF:  It would appear so, my Lord, yes.

12      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  If we look at March and you want 10

13          days, a start on either the 14th or 21st March would be a good

14          idea, I would have thought.  I think it is probably optimistic

15          to say that we can start it for 10 days before that first

16          Formula One in Bahrain.

17      MR. MORPUSS:  In the interests of having the extra week, I would

18          go for the 21st, my Lord.

19      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  What do you say, Mr. Silverleaf, 21st

20          start?

21      MR. SILVERLEAF:  Would your Lordship just give me one moment.

22          (Counsel took instructions)  Yes, my Lord.

23      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  21st March?

24      MR. SILVERLEAF:  21st March.

25      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  21st March for 10 days.



2                Do you want to attempt to agree a timetable between

3          yourselves first?

4      MR. MORPUSS:  I think that would be more sensible, my Lord, yes.

5      MR. SILVERLEAF:  I am sure we can, my Lord.

6      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  Yes, adding a clause, my standard

7          clause, which is:  “Liberty to apply to me at ten o’clock on

8          any day, subject to my availability, for 30 minutes on two

9          business days’ notice or less if urgent on any matter arising

10          out of this order”.  I am not suggesting the case comes before

11          me at trial.  I suspect it will probably go before a different

12          judge given the IP issues, but there is no reason why I should

13          not at least drive through the case management to trial.  That

14          is a very important provision.  My experience over the years

15          has been that that stops people taking silly stances because

16          they come in front of me and I shout at them.

17      MR. MORPUSS:  I am not sure we have time to take silly stances on

18          this timetable, my Lord, anyway.

19      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  I believe in this timetable but it is

20          when things disappear into correspondence.  Do not get

21          involved in correspondence about issues.  Come and see me

22          informally on that liberty to apply.

23                Take as long as you need over the directions.  I will

24          notify listing that that is the time you are aiming for.

25                             (A short adjournment)



2      MR. SILVERLEAF:  My Lord, we have a provisional timetable subject

3          to your Lordship’s approval.  Unless you want to, you do not

4          need to write it down.  We will prepare one.

5      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  Yes.  I am just listening.

6      MR. SILVERLEAF:  The defendants should have leave to amend their

7          counterclaim by 28th January.  We would have liberty to amend

8          the reply and defence to counterclaim in response by

9          4th February.  Disclosure on the 14th.  Inspection on the

10          16th.  Witness statements on 7th March.  Trial on the 21st.

11          If your Lordship is happy with that, the parties are.

12      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  Is no expert evidence going to be

13          called?

14      MR. SILVERLEAF:  Not as far as I can see.  This is a case which

15          turns entirely on fact.

16      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  The only areas possible — No, I am not

17          going to encourage you to think of expert evidence.

18      MR. SILVERLEAF:  I am very pleased to hear that, my Lord.  Subject

19          to your Lordship’s approval —-

20      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  Yes.  The only add-on I would have is

21          that skeleton arguments, reading lists, bundles, lists of

22          authorities should be lodged by, shall we say, Wednesday the

23          16th and make Monday the 21st a reading day for the judge.

24          And put my liberty to apply provision in.

25      MR. SILVERLEAF:  I am sorry, my Lord.  I was taking that as read.



2          I do apologise.

3      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  I have spoken to listing and Mr. Bell is

4          very happy to have you in on that day.

5      MR. SILVERLEAF:  Excellent.

6      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  Costs reserved?

7      MR. MORPUSS:  My Lord, the effect of this is that the summary

8          judgment application is not going to be heard and was a

9          mistake to have been brought.

10      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  No.  You can have that argument at the

11          end of the trial.

12      MR. MORPUSS:  Okay, my Lord.

13      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  If you ever reach that stage.  The only

14          other thing is that dreadful word “mediation”.  Is there any

15          prospect of a mediated settlement in this case?  I would

16          suspect that the only possible time for mediation is after you

17          have had your disclosure and exchange of witness statements.

18          My experience is mediation does not take place when everything

19          is still inchoate.  Maybe I do not need to say to such an

20          experienced team of lawyers that they should think about

21          settlement before they spend 10 days in court.

22      MR. SILVERLEAF:  We have and we are, my Lord.

23      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  What, you are experienced and you have

24          discussed it?

25      MR. SILVERLEAF:  We have thought about settlement and we are



2          thinking about it.


4      MR. SILVERLEAF:  One always does.

5      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  Not always.  We sometimes have lengthy

6          cases which attract comments about tanks and things.  Very

7          well.  If the order can be e-mailed to my associate and my

8          clerk, I will sign it off.

9      MR. SILVERLEAF:  Thank you very much indeed, my Lord.  We are very

10          grateful to your Lordship for both suggesting and

11          directing —-

12      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  The other thing that occurred to me is

13          this.  You are going to maintain the status quo in the sense

14          that the defendants are going to be able to enter the existing

15          Grand Prix that will take place before the trial as they have

16          registered, presumably, and with all rights reserved in

17          respect of that?

18      MR. SILVERLEAF:  Yes, my Lord, subject, obviously, to an agreement

19          to the contrary between the parties, whether temporary or

20          permanent.  Also, we are both subject to the rule of Formula

21          One management.  If Formula One management say we can or

22          cannot do something, either of us, then we are not able to

23          gainsay that because they are in control.

24      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  They are not going to stop the

25          defendants because the defendants are already registered to



2          participate, are they not?

3      MR. SILVERLEAF:  I think that is right, my Lord.

4      MR. MORPUSS:  Yes, that is right, my Lord.  We are already

5          registered.  It is too late —-

6      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  And not calling yourself “Lotus Renault”

7          are you, or anything like that?

8      MR. MORPUSS:  We are not, my Lord, no.

9      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  The claimant is not calling itself Lotus

10          Renault?

11      MR. MORPUSS:  It is, yes.

12      MR. SILVERLEAF:  We are.

13      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  You are?

14      MR. SILVERLEAF:  Yes.

15      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  There are going to be two Lotus ones

16          there.

17      MR. SILVERLEAF:  That is why we are here, my Lord.

18      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  Both wearing the same logo?

19      MR. MORPUSS:  Slightly different colours, my Lord.

20      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  There will be some very valuable

21          memorabilia available, will there not, if some of these come

22          out in the first part of the season?

23                I had a case like that concerning football cards.  I had

24          stopped a rival football cards case and they left an original

25          one because I granted an injunction stopping them selling any



2          more.  Unreasonably, they asked for the original back.

3      MR. SILVERLEAF:  Suddenly acquired added value.

4      MR. JUSTICE PETER SMITH:  My former clerk’s son looked interested.

5          Very well.  Thank you very much.

6                                   ————






















This is Lotus’s media statement on the post High Court decision.


25 January 2011


Group Lotus and Proton are delighted with the outcome of yesterday’s hearing in which the Judge ordered a full trial of this matter to be heard as soon as possible given the proximity of the start of the new 2011 Formula 1™ season in a few weeks. The trial has been fixed at the English High Court for 21 March 2011.

Group Lotus and Proton have been made aware of the press release issued by 1Malaysia Racing Team (1MRT), it is completely incorrect and a misrepresentation of the Judge’s decision suggesting that Group Lotus’ application was “thrown out”. No decision was made on Group Lotus’ application. The Judge proposed that the better procedural route was to order a speedy trial of all the issues in dispute in the case. 1MRT initially resisted the Judge’s approach to resolve all matters quickly and before the start of the 2011 Formula 1™ season but the order was subsequently made and the first available date was 21 March.

Group Lotus and Proton have always held the view that this matter should be resolved as soon as possible in the interests of Formula 1™ and the fans. We therefore welcome this decision and look forward to the full trial. We are confident that at the trial Group Lotus will succeed in preventing 1MRT, Mr Fernandes and his companies, from using the Lotus name in Formula 1™ once and for all.



Malaysians should know what their business leaders are made of.  We don’t need rogues and/or liars to run our plcs. The public could be deceived and/or manipulated to invest in the wrong ventures conned by some individuals’ hair-brain scheme.




Published in: on January 26, 2011 at 22:30  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Cars are almost as expensive as houses in Malaysia so that Proton can get their jollies by dabbling in Formula 1 instead of spending time in making cheap decent cars.

    I wonder how much time is Nadzmi spending on this Formula one thing instead of focusing on running Proton’s core business. He should be sacked for being negligent

  2. the whole saga should have ended easily if tony told proton about his whole agenda
    i dont know whether he kept secret or he already told proton about him buying that company rights through Tune
    it just basic moral
    he knows how much value that name pose to proton and Lotus Group (the one making the cars)
    but somehow he decided it was best to not let other people know that hes buying the company
    of course the original team Lotus had gone to the grave and whoever wear the Lotus liveries now, are entirely different to whatever Senna was driving before
    I mean senna would be too much ashamed if hes got to face these nonsense and lack of honesty

    sadly i believe Tonys the winner in this contest
    but they are not going to rake up more points that Danny Bahar’s Lotus Renault
    that team is all rounded proven in term of doing races
    of course mike and co done good job getting both heikki and jarno to finish lines last season
    but i cant see them go more than becoming The Best Newcomer mark II

    and the other thing is that Tony’s team gonna use Renault engine for the upcoming season
    i wonder what else in store for that matter
    of course agreements were penned and signed well before 2011
    but with such low level of moralities
    u will never know

  3. Really, ah? One would think that your entire post is “sub judice” as the British court has not as yet given it’s verdict, and regardless of the outcome, the losing party could take it to appeal.

    Let’s see how the British legal system pans out, shall we?

    I hold no particular brief for either Tony F or Proton. I do have grave doubts, though, if Proton could compete on fair and equal terms with the biggies in the auto industry as it is definitely not a niche player a la Saab, Volvo or Aston Martin.

  4. does everything have to be malay v non-malay? piss off la…you truly are lame

    • does anybody say it is malay v non-malay? u r sick, man. mentally.

      • is malaysian vs malaysian!is sick!!!!1 malaysia?now we have more than 1 malaysia company in F1!!!!!!!najib 1 malaysia can’t used in F1 now!!!!!

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