Williams won a court case against former sponsor ROKiT in London court nad has knocked the California court to enforce the ruling.
The deal with ROKiT happened in 2019 as they were extended to be the principal sponsor until the 2023 F1 season. However, after COVID-19 struck in 2020, the extended holiday allowed Williams to terminate the contract between the two parties.
The team were forced to change their livery too, as a court case ensued to recover the money. The original case took place in London Court of International Arbitration and spread between November 2020 until October 2021, where the final call was taken.
ROKiT were asked to pay up $35.7 million after taking into account several promises. The company argued in the court that Williams didn’t fulfill its contractual obligation, but the court noted the company promised to pay the F1 team and they didn’t do so.
The amount included a $1 million bonus payment, but nothing was paid up. The takeover by Dorilton Capital did make the case complex after the deal was struck under Claire Williams, but the case went smoothly eventually.
The London court’s final call to Respondents (ROKiT) and Claimant (Williams) on October 2021 was:
“For the reasons set out above, the Sole Arbitrator holds, finds, grants and determines by way of Final Award:
A. The Respondents are declared to jointly and severally owe and be liable to the Claimant for the costs of this arbitration being GBP 233,260.50 in respect of Legal Costs and GBP 31,171.24 in respect of Arbitration Costs, namely, a total of GBP 264,431.74.
B. The Respondents are hereby required, by way of award, to pay the Claimant GBP 264,431.74 within 14 days of today’s date.
C. All other extant prayers for relief are denied and the arbitration is concluded.”
But it seems like Williams didn’t receive the money from ROKiT as ordered by the London court which is why the F1 team knocked the doors of US District Court for the Central District of California with a fresh case on December 15, 2021.
Williams has urged the California court to push ROKiT to pay up the money as per the order of the London court, with the case being heard by Christina A Snyder and Patricia Donahue. From the latest update, it seems like the case’s final decision is still pending.
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