back to article Autonomy trial: Key HPE witness might not testify, UK High Court told

Ill-fated British software company Autonomy's one-time US sales chief is reluctant to testify in person against former CEO Mike Lynch, the High Court in London heard yesterday morning. HPE, which is suing Lynch in the UK over the $8.8bn writedown of Autonomy after buying the firm in 2012, wants to call Christopher Egan to give …

  1. JimmyPage

    All I know is as taxpayers, we are paying for this farce

    I really hope someone, somewhere has to pony up the costs.

    1. MJB7

      Re: All I know is as taxpayers, we are paying for this farce

      I don't *think* we are actually. This is a civil case, and the court fees (which should pay for the costs of running the court) will have been paid by the claimants. (If they win, they can claim those fees back from the defendants - but I think that will be chicken-feed compared to the lawyers fees.)

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: All I know is as taxpayers, we are paying for this farce

      Are we? Surely if HP are suing, then they're paying court costs. Or Lynch will if he loses. I don't know if the fees cover the whole costs though. It's even possible we're making a profit. Though I doubt it would be enough to cover the costs of the serious fraud squad's time from their previous investigation.

      Oddly enough we're actually a major an exporter of m'learned friends' services. Many contracts between Russian companies for example are done under London law, so they can access the UK courts system when there's a disagreement. Given that whoever's best connected to the governemt at the time will win in Russian courts. Plus there's lots of judges and ex-judges who moonlight as part of arbitration agreements.

    3. Bonzo_red

      Re: All I know is as taxpayers, we are paying for this farce

      As a money claim, HPE will have paid court fees of GBP 10,000. The parties will be paying their attorney costs so I don't see how the tax payer is lumped with a bill.

  2. Rudolph Hucker the Third

    "If you were a cynic," mused one El Reg commentator over his keyboard today, "you'd say if this was a UK citizen being demanded by a USA court, they'd already have been bundled through Heathrow in handcuffs."

  3. BebopWeBop Silver badge

    Stung, Rabinowitz immediately began speaking over the High Court judge,

    Just as well the judge was in a good mood. People have been banged up for contempt of court for less. HPE muddying the waters, hoping that their gross incompetence will go unnoticed?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. devTrail

      HPE muddying the waters, hoping that their gross incompetence will go unnoticed?

      I don't think that at such levels, with big teams of specialized people involved, everything can be simply dismissed as incompetence.

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        They were pretty incompetent at examining Autonomy's books. Presumably they had plenty of specialist financial types doing that.

        1. devTrail

          They were pretty incompetent

          How can you be so sure? This endless repetition of the concept of incompetence even when multiple CEOs and a huge number of high level manager and experts had a role over a long period of time stinks. Is it really possible all of them were so incompetent? Isn't it possible that the reason might be something worse?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Look at most IT acquisitions and sweep away the forward looking BS.

            The companies acquiring the company generally just want to take a product that they can sit on, screw existing customers and jack up prices.

            HP thought they could do that with autonomy, but autonomy were already riding the screw the customer bus hard. HP was desperate for a big name acquisition to show they weren’t past it. HP thought they could fly through due diligence, pay top dollar and make the board look like they weren’t a ink company with a dying printer/PC/server market.

          2. AdamT

            In an idle moment I read through some of the claim/counter-claim documents in this Autonomy vs. HP spat and this particular bit seemed to say quite a bit about the management of HP:

            "Ms Whitman ... repeatedly adopted the management approach of ... playing country music to the meeting instructing the senior executives attending to take the meaning of the country music songs and apply them to their own management methods".

            1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

              If someone forced me to listen to country music, I'd try to bring the company down!

            2. Adrian 4 Silver badge

              You can't just leave it there. What was she playing ?

              I'm imagining hard-headed HP managers mending their ways as they consider the calls to their loyalty in 'Jolene' and 'Stand by your man'.

              What titles would Register readers recommend ?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                "I wonder who's grabbing her by the ass tonight" MacLean and MacLean.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Country music songs to inspire HP during the Autonomy merger

                  How Can I Miss You If You Won't Go Away?

                  I Liked You Better Before I Knew You So Well

                  I Knew I'd Hit Rock Bottom When I Woke Up On Top Of You

                  The Worst You Ever Gave Me Was the Best I Ever Had

              2. AdamT

                Regrettably, the document didn't say.

                I don't know if Shania Twain and Taylor Swift count as "country" (but they are on the list of ) I'd nominate "That Don't Impress Me Much" and "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" as being somewhat appropriate to the situation...

              3. chuBb. Silver badge

                Fucked with a Knife - Cannibal Corpse

                The Decline - NOFX

                Welcome to Dying - Onslaught

                Astronomy - Blue Oyster Cult (you dont have to squint with your ears to hard to hear the chorus as Autonomy....)

                Dont really do country so blissfully unable to recommend

  4. RedCardinal

    What would Rumple do?

  5. The Nazz

    I'm confused again.

    From early in the article ...

    1) HPE want to call Egan as a witness.

    2) Lynch opposes this.

    3) Yet Lynch's own lawyers "wanted to put it to Egan in person that his witness statement "is, in large part, false".

    So why oppose him as a live witness, the best opportunity to achieve 3) is to have him appear as a witness, on oath, in the dock.

    ( aside from the issue of Egan not wanting to attend nor ability to make him do so).

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Out, damned spot sez I, Meg

    One; two: why, then 'tis time to do't.

    Hell is murky.

    Fie, Ray Lane, fie, a VC, and afeard?

    What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to SEC accounting rules?

    Yet who would have thought Mike Lynch to have had so much blood in him?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When is a Crime Not a Crime?

    "the conspiracy also included CEO Mike Lynch, as well as Christopher “Stouffer” Egan, Peter Menell, Andy Kanter, and Steve Chamberlain, all executives at Autonomy."

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