Court of Appeal rejects judicial review application in relation to shares transfer and lease duration concerning Ricoh Arena


Re: R (Sky Blue) & Ors v Coventry City Council [2018] EWCA Civ 2252

This was an appeal by Sky Blue from the order of Singh J dated 17 Jul 2017 refusing Sky Blue’s application for permission to apply for judicial review of a decision of the defendant Council of 7 Oct 2014. As quoted in the amended Judicial Review Claim Form the challenged decision was,

“1. To approve the sale of 100% of the shares in Arena Coventry Limited currently held by Coventry City Council via North Coventry Holdings Limited (50% of the total shares in ACL) for 2.77m to London Wasps Holdings Limited. 2. To approve the sale of a lease extension to ACL of 211 years for £1m giving a total lease duration of 250 years subject to the acquisition by London Wasps Holdings Limited of the other 50% shareholding in ACL.”

The judicial review application challenged the decision on the basis that the transactions resulting therefrom constituted unlawful “state aid” contrary to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, art 107 and a breach the Local Government Act 1972, s 123.

The Court dismissed the appeal.

Nicholas Gibson and Rhodri Thompson QC were involved in this case.