Erskine Chambers seals victory for RBS in Liverpool FC dispute

Mr Justice Floyd has granted the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) mandatory injunctive relief against Liverpool Football Club, paving the way for the sale of the club.

The bank went to the High Court in a bid to force the club’s owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett to reconstitute the club’s board and allow it to be sold to US bidders New England Sport Ventures (NESV).

Erskine Chambers’ Richard Snowden QC was instructed by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner Patrick Swain to act for the bank.

He argued that Hicks and Gillett were in breach of an RBS contract that was set up in April when they extended their line of credit.

Under the terms of that contract Hicks and Gillett established a board responsible for selling the club in order to repay the loan. Then, last week, the pair moved to sack the club’s managing director Christian Purslow and commercial director Ian Ayre from the board.

Maitland Chambers’ Paul Girolami QC represented Hicks and Gillett, having been instructed by Peters & Peters partner Jonathan Tickner and partner Keith Oliver.

He rejected suggestions that his clients had tried to block the sale and instead suggested that alternative bids for the club would offer more value than the NESV deal.

The decision by Floyd J to grant the injunction will enable the board to reconvene ahead of Friday’s deadline for the loan repayment.

NESV was advised by Shearman & Sterling, who instructed David Chivers QC of Erskine Chambers. Slaughter and May partner Efstathios Michael instructed One Essex Court’s Lord Grabiner QC to represent the club’s board.

Liverpool FC chairman Martin Broughton instructed Monckton Chambers’ Paul Harris through Couchman Harrington partner Satish Khandke. Serle Court silk Philip Marshall QC was been brought on board to respond to company law issues in the case.