It’s rare for a lawyer to reach icon status in the US or anywhere else. Johnny Cochran, Alan Dershowitz, F. Lee Bailey – in modern times, that’s about it. But there’s a bigger gun than all of these guys, a man widely regarded as the best litigator in the nation, and in advance of what we expect to be a flurry of fast-tracked litigation, BMW/Oracle have just hired him as lead counsel in GGYC vs. SNG.
Given the importance of recent rulings on the venue and rules for the 33rd Cup, it certainly makes sense to hire the Russell Coutts of the legal world to argue your case, and that’s exactly what David Boies is. This is the man that first beat the U.S. Government on behalf of I.B.M. in a 7-year antitrust suit, then switched sides and represented the government when it went after Microsoft, winning against one of the biggest legal teams ever assembled. Boies won one of the largest single-company settlements in history when he represented American Express – over $4 billion from Mastercard and Visa. His record is simply unparalleled, and you can read more about Boies in this Wired interview and this one from Time.
As the teams continue to work up their boats, the legal teams are kicking into overdrive, and we expect GGYC will rapidly move to have SNG’s rules and venue choices overturned by the courts. But today’s release from GGYC sends signals of a bigger move – one we’ve been expecting for a long time: GGYC is finally getting around to questioning SNG’s status as Trustee of the America’s Cup. And given Boies history dealing with these kinds of issues, this one could change the game completely.