The federal magistrate judge ruled in favor of the leader Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, which has bankrolled the new LIV Golf series, must sit for a deposition by lawyers for the PGA Tour He was asked to testify as part of the litigation surrounding the sport-splitting circuit.
This decision was released in California on Thursday evening, following an interim legal skirmish which addressed questions regarding sovereign immunity and the reach Saudi law, could open a rare window into the wealth fund’s operations and the power of its governor, Yasir al-Rumayyan, over its investments abroad.
It is likely that the wealth fund will ask Susan van Keulen (Federal District Court judge) to review the decision made by Susan van Keulen. Susan van Keulen is overseeing bitter legal battle between the wealthy and the poor. PGA Tour LIV Golf.
Van Keulen stated that the 58-page ruling was confidential. Some portions were redacted as sides debated about confidentiality. “plain” That the wealth fund was “not a mere investor in LIV.”
Judge instead stated that the wealth funds were “the moving force behind the founding, funding, oversight and operation of LIV.” Al-Rumayyan wrote other things in her order. “was personally involved in and himself carried out many” of the wealth fund’s activities to create and develop LIV.
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Although the wealth fund refused to comment on the matter, it stated in an additional court filing that al-Rumayyan and it were involved. “respectfully intend to seek review of the order,” Last week, van Keulen issued the first seal-issued van Keulen.
LIV Golf was backed by billions from the United States over the course of the past year. Saudi Wealth fund has attracted a few elite players from the PGA Tour in exchange for some of the most lucrative contracts in the sport’s history. But the signings of headline players — including Sergio García, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson and Cameron Smith — have revealed only so much about LIV Golf’s ambitions and the wealth fund’s motives for investing billions of dollars in an enterprise that McKinsey & Company consultants warned was nothing close to a sure bet.
LIV Golf champions claim they want to revitalize a sport that has lost its professional status. This is the PGA TourThe game is under the most severe competitive threat it has ever faced. Its supporters and opponents complain about the rebel series’ promotion of a weaker version and their help in overcoming this challenge. Saudi Arabia’s record in human rights is being overlooked.
While much of the information it learned from litigation is still under seal, PGA Tour LIV Golf has been described as being routinely subservient the the wants and whims the wealth fund (formally the Public Investment Fund) and al-Rumayyan. Al-Rumayyan is an avid golf fan and close friend. Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Prince Mohammed is the wealth fund’s chairman.
Van Keulen was hearing Eliot Peters’ case in January. Peters, who is a lawyer representing the tour, heavily relied upon a shareholder agreement. This agreement, he claimed, showed the extent of the rights and responsibilities. Saudi Influence on LIV Golf: The second season will start next Friday with a tournament at Mexico.
Peters stated that wealth funds must be managed. “consent to” the league’s operating budget, player participation agreements, sponsorship deals, certain broadcasting contracts and the commencement of litigation — including the lawsuit in San Jose that gave rise to the subpoenas demanding documents and testimony from the fund and al-Rumayyan.
“They consent to this litigation,” Peters mentioned the wealth fund as a way to own 93 percent in LIV golf. “They knew it was going to be filed in a U.S. court. They knew it was going to be brought by a subsidiary that they fund completely. They knew it was going to involve player agreements, which they control. They knew it was going to involve sponsor issues on the antitrust side, which they control. They knew it was going to involve broadcast agreements, which is central to the antitrust case, which they control and had the ability to either approve or disapprove of.”
Peters further stated to the judge that alRumayyan had been with him. “personally assured golfers” The wealth fund was willing to support them legaly and al-Rumayyan has been regularly involved in meetings on LIV golf. The wealth fund’s leader, Peters insisted, was so steeped in the operation of the golf series that an email showed that he was “involved in an issue about the delay in golfers’ scores being posted on a TV screen.”
The wealth fund’s lawyers argued that Peters had exaggerated the extent of al-Rumayyan’s role — or at least misinterpreted it — and that compliance with the PGA Tour’s demands would violate Saudi law. John Bash, an attorney for the wealth trust, said to van Keulen the deposing of al-Rumayyan was analogous with the United States Treasury secretary being subject to the demands by a Saudi Court if an American company was involved in litigation in Riyadh. (“I see a couple of important distinctions between that analogy and the facts,” (The judge replied shortly after.
The wealth fund lawyers also attempted to separate al-Rumayyan’s wealth fund from the golf league, in addition to arguing about American courts’ jurisdiction. According to lawyers, the wealth fund “does not control LIV’s day-to-day-operations” It also included an al-Rumayyan sworn statement, which stated that it only provided information “high level oversight” LIV.
However, in late January the PGA Tour The court granted permission for the addition of the wealth fund to the lawsuit. Judge Beth Labson Freeman, who will also consider any bid by the wealth fund to overturn van Keulen’s order, has not ruled on the request.
Much of van Keulen’s decision about the subpoenas rebuffed the wealth fund’s legal arguments; she concluded, for instance, that the wealth fund’s work in the United States triggered a commercial activity exception under a law that deals with foreign sovereign immunity. She did, however, narrow the scope of the tour’s subpoenas, which she said “suffer from overbreadth both in scope and number of requests.” And although she ruled in the wealth fund’s favor on a technical matter related to the subpoenas, she said the tour could re-serve them, preserving its potential to depose al-Rumayyan.
The golf litigation, which is not scheduled to go to trial before next year, is not the first time that the wealth fund has balked at al-Rumayyan’s requested participation in American legal proceedings. Lawyers for Elon Musk subpoenaed al-Rumayyan for testimony in a trial involving Musk’s assertion that he would take Tesla private but backed down after the wealth fund’s lawyers resisted.