The Ferrari Formula One Case – Times Lawyer Of The Week

LAWFUEL – The Lawyer Newswire – Nigel Tozzi, QC, of 4 Pump Court, acted for Ferrari, the Formula One constructor, in the hearings over the confidential documents and a blueprint of the design of a Ferrari Formula One car illegally obtained by McLaren, The Times reports.

McLaren was stripped of all constructor points in the 2007 Formula One World Championship and the team can score no points for the remainder of the season. McLaren was also ordered to pay a fine equal to $100 million (£50 million, believed to be the largest in sporting history), less the income lost as a result of the points deduction.

What were the main challenges in these hearings and the most surprising aspects?
Covering all the issues in the time available before the World Motor Sports Council. We received eight witness statements and McLaren’s detailed written submissions at 4pm the day before the hearing. Time for cross-examination and oral submissions was limited, as the hearing had to be over within one day. It had the salutary effect of ensuring that we focused on the big points.

What was your worst day as a law-yer?
Sitting on a train to Bristol realising that I had forgotten my robes. This was before the days of the mobile phone, so there was nothing I could do during the journey, except worry. On arrival the judge was unsympathetic and I ended up borrowing and having to appear in some moth-eaten relics with a wig that was far too large. It was not my finest hour.

What was your most memorable experience as a lawyer?
Some speakers being used for simultaneous translation exploding with dramatic force at the very end of my closing submissions in an arbitration. They had started crackling as I reached my rousing finale, and emitted a huge bang just as I finished, followed by smoke filling the room that had to be cleared. The timing was so perfect that my clients wondered if it had been prearranged.

Who has been the most influential person in your life and why?
Putting family to one side I was lucky enough to have Anthony Temple, QC, as my first pupil master. Working with Tony was like living with a human dynamo, and I learnt through observation the importance of hard work and thorough preparation.

What would your advice be to anyone wanting a career in law?
Don’t be pompous.

Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?
As I was 50 only quite recently I’m not sure I want to spend too much time thinking about being 60. I have no judicial ambitions and I still enjoy being at the Bar (and sitting as an occasional arbitrator) far too much to contemplate doing anything else for a while to come.

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