Jordan Vs. Vodafone:
The Transcripts

By Pablo Elizalde, Spain
Atlas F1 News Editor

For anyone unaccustomed to legal procedures it might certainly be hard to understand how can a trial take place based on a person saying four words over a phone conversation of which there are no records, especially if the result of that trial could mean $250 million for the claimant.

In the convoluted world of legal wranglings, however, those four words could be as good a written piece of paper, and that's what Jordan are hanging on to in order to win a trial that could make a night and day difference for the struggling Silverstone-based outfit.

It all began back in 2001, when team principal Eddie Jordan was trying to secure a 100 million deal with Vodafone, who back then were looking to make their way into Formula One, talking to four different teams apart from Jordan about possible sponsorship. With a customer base of 83 million people over five continents and 29 countries, Vodafone's was a coveted deal for any team, rich or poor.

By March 22nd that year, Jordan thought, and so claims now, that his team had gotten the deal after a telephone conversation with Vodafone's global branding director David Haines, in which Jordan claims the words "You've got the deal" were spoken. No contracts were signed, however, and some two months later, on May 25th, Vodafone and Ferrari announced a sponsorship deal at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Fast forward to June this year, and it was confirmed by Vodafone that Jordan were suing them claiming they had wrongly pulled out of a three-year deal as the four abovementioned words constituted a binding agreement. In a nutshell, in the current trial Jordan will have to prove that those words were actually spoken, and if so, if they brought into existence a contract on the terms negotiated and agreed between Jordan and Vodafone prior to the day the words were spoken.

To prove the first claim, both Jordan and his commercial director Ian Phillips, who supposedly listened to the phone conversation, will testify that the words 'You've got the deal' were actually spoken, with Jordan also claiming that Phillips had written the words down in a notebook which was in evidence before the court.

The second claim, however, doesn't seem as easy to prove. Jordan say that in the conversation with Haines there was no suggestion whatsoever that they would need to conduct further negotiations, or that there had to be a written contract signed before a deal could materialise.

"The word deal is a colloquial word, but well understood by businessmen," said Alan Boyle QC in Jordan's opening statement, "when they do a deal, they bring into existence a bargain between them, and that is what we say they were doing here. The words were clear and unqualified.

"We say that both sides wanted to commit at once to this deal for good commercial reasons and, had Mr Haines wished to avoid making an immediate binding commitment to the deal, he would not have used the words that he used."

So what is Vodafone's defence to Jordan's claims? The communications giant alleged that, while they did conduct talks over a possible deal, there was no agreement and that no binding contract existed. Whether the four words were spoken or not, Vodafone claim that Jordan knew, and acknowledged in a letter written after the conversation, that a deal would necessitate of a signed piece of paper to be considered done.

Vodafone said also that Jordan was aware that no sponsorship agreement would be entered on a verbal contract and that back in 2001 Haines had no authority to conclude a deal of that magnitude.

Atlas F1 brings the exact transcripts of the two main witnesses in the case of Jordan Grand Prix Limited, claimant, and Vodafone Group Plc, defendant. These are the testimonies of Eddie Jordan, owner and head of Jordan Grand Prix, and David Haines, Vodafone's Global Brand Director and the man who allegedly promised Jordan the deal was theirs.

The transcripts are published exactly as they appear in the Court logs. No alteration was made to the text.

Furthermore, the testimonies are accompanied by links to both Eddie Jordan's and David Haines's pre-trial affidavits. These too are included as they appeared originally, with no changes made to them. The affidavits are frequently mentioned in the men's testimony and offer a better understanding of each side's version.

Finally, the lawyers examining and cross-examining the witnesses are Mr. Alan Boyle - representing Jordan; and Mr. Charles Aldous for Vodafone. The residing judge is Mr. Justice Langley.

  • June 26th, 2003: Eddie Jordan takes the stand

  • June 30th-July 1st, 2003: David Haines takes the stand

    Note: due to the size of these files, this feature is not available for download or printing

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    Jordan Vs. Vodafone

  • Preface
  • Eddie Jordan
  • David Haines

    Volume 9, Issue 27
    July 2nd 2003

    Atlas F1 Special

    David Coulthard: Never too Late
    by Timothy Collings

    Jordan vs. Vodafone: The Transcripts
    by Pablo Elizalde

    Tifosi IPO
    by Thomas O'Keefe

    European GP Review

    2003 European GP Review
    by Pablo Elizalde

    Racing Between the Lines
    by Karl Ludvigsen

    Out of Whack
    by Richard Barnes

    Ann Bradshaw: View from the Paddock
    by Ann Bradshaw

    French GP Preview

    2003 French GP Preview
    by Craig Scarborough

    Stats Center

    Qualifying Differentials
    by Marcel Borsboom

    by David Wright

    Charts Center
    by Michele Lostia


    Season Strokes
    by Bruce Thomson

    On the Road
    by Garry Martin

    Elsewhere in Racing
    by David Wright & Mark Alan Jones

    The Weekly Grapevine
    by Tom Keeble

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