The previously adjourned hearing concerning the appeal by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) against the Information Commissioner’s (ICO) order to publish the full financial terms of the deal between itself and West Ham United FC reconvened and was completed on Thursday March 17th.
The Tribunal chair informed those present that a judgment would probably be published in "two to three weeks time"
The LLDC maintained their line of argument that disclosure of the full terms of the deal they struck with West Ham would prejudice their ability to make commercially advantageous deals with other stadium users in the future. They argued that "legislation designed to ensure the public see they get value for money would result in the public not getting value for money"
The ICO countered this by arguing that future users (both long and short-term) would be negotiating completely different packages which would obviously have completely different prices.
Our own Richard Hunt was at last invited to speak. He reminded the tribunal that, originally, the LLDC had said that it was West Ham who were concerned about the contract being made public but that West Ham were now not sufficiently interested to support the LLDC's appeal. He also noted his surprise that the LLDC had not been represented at the tribunal by their Chief Executive, but by their Director of Finance. He regretted the fact that the LLDC had, throughout the whole process, sought to delay and obstruct and to seek for excuses to avoid disclosure. You can read Richard's submission here, on the Olympic Stadium Coalition website.
Part of the LLDC's submissions to support the appeal were heard in private session which means that, although they could be criticised by the ICO's barrister, they were not open to public scrutiny.
We hope very much that the tribunal will dismiss the LLDC appeal and we expect to hear the outcome early in April.