LAW REPORT : ARCHER and BOWMAN v. BIGOT-JOHNSON 2014
( A landmark case in which the competition winners sued Bigot-Johnson , the tournament promoter for breach of contract . Bigot decided after establishing widespread cheating that the results were null and void . Subsequently , both the trophy and the prize money were retained by the promoter as there was no way of establishing who the true winners were. )
Counsel for the plaintiffs (CP ) : Is it true Bigot that you promoted and organised this competition ..... charging each of the 200 pairs £100 in entry fees ?
B-J : True...
CP : And from the £20,000 you received in fees , you had promised to pay out prize money totalling £10,000........ of which 50 % would go to the winners
B-J : Yes big prizes pull in big fields......plenty of big hitters......many of which were likely to resort to cheating in order to get their greedy hands on the dosh
CP : But none of this allocated prize money was ever handed out ?
B-J : Too bloody right......the results were completely undermined and corrupted by the level....... and the extent...... of cheating that was going on
CP : So Archer and Bowman were denied their trophy and the £5000 prize money because all the results were declared void ....and therefore scrubbed ?
B-J : Absolutely.....and although I had no evidence of foul play on their part, the cheating that went on elsewhere forced me to declare the event a non-event......with no way of determining who the real winners were
CP : So why not reimburse the participants with at least half of their entry fees
B-J : Well, no way was I going to reimburse the cheats who sabotaged the competition.....and moreover.... there was no way I could identify all the pairs who were cheating...... and all those pairs who were not
CP : So tell me Bigot ....how many times have you promoted competitions which turned out to be non-events because of alleged cheating ?
B-J : Dozens
CP : No doubt that in these competitions all the prize money and trophies were withheld ?
B-J : Of course...
CP : So what's the point then in promoting further competitions if cheating continues to be so widespread
B-J : Players want them .....but more importantly..... I have an expensive life style to maintain.... not to mention a string of mistresses with lavish tastes
CP : But can't you see that non-payment of any prize money represents a breach of contract... given the fact that participants enter the competitions on an agreed understanding that a good performance will earn valuable rewards in some shape and form. In legal parlance...... this is known as consideration.....and there is no doubt in my mind that they have entered into a legally binding agreement, where both parties intended to create legal relations
B-J : Not so..... entering bridge competitions come down to nothing more than gentlemen's agreements.....binding in honour only.....but honour , I might add , is a personality trait I do not possess.....or ever will
Judge : Yes....I must agree with you Bigot on both counts.....
B-J : Why thank you my lord......so does that mean I'm free to go ?
Judge : Yes.....so long as that cheque you gave is more valid than your claims of " prize money to be won "
B-J : Indeed it is......indeed it is