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Eversheds comment: Conviction could see Ecclestone and Daimler exit F1

  • United Kingdom

    24-04-2014

    Commenting on Bernie Ecclestone’s trial which begins today, Dr. Frederik Foitzik, Munich-based partner and litigation & dispute management expert at global law firm Eversheds, says:

    “Ecclestone is accused of having bribed and incited Gribowsky for unfaithfulness. Gribowsky has already been convicted and sentenced to eight years in prison, so it is obvious that Ecclestone has to await more than a fine if he is convicted. If Ecclestone is convicted he could be placed on probation for up to two years. If the conviction is for more than two years he faces prison.

    “If convicted, he will most likely not have a future as the boss of Formula One. In 2012 he stated that if he was convicted, the other shareholders would be compelled to get rid of him. Compliance plays a prominent role for Daimler. Following today’s trial it is likely the Stuttgart-based car manufacturer will try to get rid of Ecclestone and it could even leave Formula One if he does not resign.

    “For Ecclestone, appearing before court is a clever strategy. This way, he and his lawyers can influence the course of the trial – and that worked quite well in the recent high-profile trial of Uli Hoeness.”

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