Following overnight media requests regarding the award of costs in the recent failed legal action by Geraint Hawkes, the Ospreys & Mike Cuddy have issued the following statements...
Following overnight media requests regarding the award of costs in the recent failed legal action by Geraint Hawkes to oust 50% owner Mike Cuddy from Neath RFC and have him removed as Neath RFC's representative on the board of the Ospreys, the Ospreys and Mike Cuddy have issued the following statements:
STATEMENT BY OSPREYS
"The Ospreys are pleased by the outcome of this case and that the costs award reflected the judge's decision that "the essential thrust of Mr Hawkes' case failed". Geraint Hawkes has already had to pay to the Ospreys £50,000 of their costs - the amount of his full liability in respect of their costs remains to be determined.
Defending this needless litigation brought by Geraint Hawkes has been extremely costly for the region both in terms of time and money the Ospreys' legal bills alone have run to hundreds of thousands of pounds. Unfortunately Geraint Hawkes has now lodged an appeal, which will mean yet further costs and distraction for the Ospreys and Mr Cuddy. However, the appeal does not affect that part of the order imposing a liability on Mr Hawkes to the Ospreys in costs and the Ospreys will be taking immediate steps towards the enforcement of that part of the order."
STATEMENT BY MIKE CUDDY
"After such a torrid time defending this pointless litigation, I am just pleased to have the court again reaffirm my success in the case. The judge, Mr Justice Lewison, put pay to Geraint Hawkes' continuing and patently absurd claims that he somehow won the case stating that "Mr Chivers [Hawkes' counsel] argued that Mr Hawkes was the overall winner in the litigation, including the trial. I have rejected that argument." In awarding costs, not only did the court make crystal clear that Geraint Hawkes had lost his case, but the judge also stated that the solution for deadlock in this matter was the one that I had proposed and Geraint Hawkes had rejected.
In Mr Justice Lewison's own words "the essential thrust of Mr Hawkes' case failed. The solution proposed by Mr Cuddy, and which I adopted,was one that Mr Hawkes opposed and said was of no use to him."Furthermore, Mr Justice Lewison went on to say "I must look at the realities of the case. The trial was about the control of the Ospreys. Mr Hawkes had in fact been offered a seat on the board before trial, which he turned down. Looking at it realistically andin the round I consider that Mr Cuddy was the overall winner of the trial." As a result, the court has ordered Geraint Hawkes to pay the vast majority of my costs of his failed petition and the effect will be that he will almost certainly have to pay 100% of his own costs in this action.
The fact that Geraint Hawkes has now lodged an appeal will only serve to elongate the matter and run up yet further costs that I am confident he will ultimately have to pay. The honourable course of action would be for Geraint Hawkes to face reality and live with the outcome of his action and re-commit to regional rugby and the role he and Neath should both play in further developing a region that has managed to see a record 13 players in the starting line up for the national team. This is where the true focus of effort and resources should be, on building regional rugby, rather than on actions that appear to want to destroy it."