back to article 'Buyer's remorse' drove HP's legal crusade to go after Lynch, High Court told

Former Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch's barrister has branded HPE's $5bn fraud trial against his client "a case study in buyer's remorse" as the legal battle being heard at London's High Court begins drawing to a close. Robert Miles QC, head of Lynch's platoon of lawyers, began his oral closing arguments yesterday morning in the …

  1. Little Mouse

    Slightly disappointed

    I was hoping for a slightly more, well, American, Americanism.

    "Yippee-kiyay, Motherfucker!!!"

    1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Slightly disappointed

      Language!

      1. not.known@this.address Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: Slightly disappointed

        I agree - even the company behind those films seem to have realised they crossed a line because they have replaced that quote with such delights as "mother-lover" and (the best, in my opinion) "mother-trucker"...

        1. Franco Silver badge

          Re: Slightly disappointed

          I must confess that I really like the sanitised version of Snakes on a Plane for the comedy value.

          "I have had it with these monkey-fighting snakes on this Monday to Friday plane!"

      2. Stuart Moore

        Re: Slightly disappointed

        I believe the British English equivalent is "Tally ho, mother how's your father"

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Slightly disappointed

          No where I come from...

          "Ee bah gum".

      3. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Slightly disappointed

        I understood that reference.

        1. Korev Silver badge

          Re: Slightly disappointed

          But it's no longer Xmas, so Christmas films are banned until much later in the year...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Christmas films are banned until much later in the year.

            They'll be back.... in September. Sony will even dedicate at least two channels to it.

            Look forward to endless reruns of 'Deck the Halls' and other [redacted]

            Got the withdrawal symptoms yet?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Christmas films are banned until much later in the year.

              Saw Easter eggs on sale last week...

              1. hammarbtyp
                WTF?

                Re: Christmas films are banned until much later in the year.

                See icon for comment

              2. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

                Re: Christmas films are banned until much later in the year.

                That's a film tie-in I didn't expect to see.

              3. BebopWeBop Silver badge

                Re: Christmas films are banned until much later in the year.

                Upvoted for the observation, but yeukkkkkkkk

              4. spe

                Re: Christmas films are banned until much later in the year.

                Pretty sure our local Tesco Extra had them at one end of the "Seasonal" Aisle late on the 24th Dec. It may have been the 27th though.

                Staff were busy shifting the last of the Xmas chocolate and Gin collections to one end. Then filling the other end with Easter content.

                1. genghis_uk Bronze badge

                  Re: Christmas films are banned until much later in the year.

                  Did nobody tell you, we only have 3 seasons now...

                  Easter - Jan to March/April (with a little pause for Valentines day)

                  Summer - April to September

                  Christmas - September to the end of December

                  1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                    Re: Christmas films are banned until much later in the year.

                    Halloween - April to October

                    Christmas - September to the end of December

                    FTFY (note, the overlap is not a miscalculation)

          2. RegGuy1 Silver badge

            Re: Slightly disappointed

            But it's no longer Xmas, so Christmas films are banned until much later in the year many years later...

            TFTFY

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Slightly disappointed

          I'm not absolutely convinced that Americanism actually means anything. It seems to me that muting Bruce Willis every time he uses that phrase doesn't deprive any of the Die Hard films of what little meaning they have.

          If I had to choose I think I prefer English profanity on the basis that it is at least varied and sometimes humorous. The Irish then move that on a step or tow further :-)

          .

          1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

            Re: Slightly disappointed

            Die Hard -

            A set of profound, philosophically challenging films. At least that is my excuse (and only for 1 and 2)

      4. theblackhand

        Re: Slightly disappointed

        "Language!"

        Exactly...Christmas is over, save it for December please.

    2. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Slightly disappointed

      Well, bless your heart.

    3. LeahroyNake Silver badge

      Re: Slightly disappointed

      I'm sure that I have heard this dubbed over as ' yipppie kyaee kemosabe' probably on the BBC.

      I very much doubt that the original version was meant as an endearment to Mr Gruber before that watch slipped off lol.

    4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: Americanisms

      This site is well infected with them.

      Slated

      Shuttered

      Inked

      etc

      etc

      Just say no to Americanisms. You know it makes sense.

      1. ArrZarr Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Americanisms

        Those examples are all verbifications rather than Americanisms.

        Personally, I am entirely in favour of verbification. The Calvin & Hobbes strip about "verbing weirds language" was, I think, intended to be a shot at verbification, but it is entirely clear in the meaning it tries to get across...and what else is language for?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Americanisms

        Just say no to Americanisms. You know it makes sense. Period.

        1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Americanisms

          Shouldn't that be "Just say no to American idioms. You know it makes sense. Full stop."? Or was that the joke?

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Americanisms

            "Or was that the joke?"

            See icon.

      3. genghis_uk Bronze badge
        Coat

        Re: Americanisms

        Americanizificationism is making a mockery of the language!

  2. tmTM

    Sold as seen

    Deloitte signed off the books and HP didn't bother to do their homework. A big tech company whinging because the accounts are complex is pretty special.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sold as seen

      "A big tech company whinging because the accounts are complex is pretty special."

      And if HP were so careful with their accounting practices they would have avoided "group Autonomy's"hardware sales together with software licence sales in HP's finance system" when they integrated Autonomy's accounts with their own. Which is what Elizabeth Harris (the KPMG witness) stated HP's David Duckworth did.

      I am not an accountant, but the KPMG guidance suggested that HP (not Autonomy) had to ensure that revenue was correctly recognised under US GAAP (rather than the international IAS standards Autonomy operated under) - something that due diligence and professional advice during integration could have assisted with.

      Does this indicate that HPE are chasing accounting technicalities rather than "fraud" now? Or is this the actual "fraud"? Or is the fraud a minor part of this picture and potentially an issue for Autonomy's US business rather than the whole of Autonomy?

      My guess is that Egan's fraud was to pump his US sales numbers - besides that HP have been caught demonstrating how not to acquire a business.

      1. aks Bronze badge

        Re: Sold as seen

        What HP really want is a win in this civil case (balance of probabilities) to use in their upcoming criminal case (beyond all reasonable doubt). Doubt if they'll get it.

        1. theblackhand

          Re: Sold as seen

          "What HP really want is a win in this civil case (balance of probabilities) to use in their upcoming criminal case (beyond all reasonable doubt). Doubt if they'll get it."

          What HPE want is not to lose. While winning this case may allow them to take assets from Lynch and Hussein and ensure both are imprisoned in the US for their part the flip side is that if they lose, future cases become "shareholders vs HPE" or "shareholders vs former execs of HP" and that is what worries Meg and HPE the most.

          Leo has demonstrated he wasn't up to the HP CEO role with his testimony in this case, justifying the board's actions to remove him. The reality is that the board supported him and this is just as much about HP's actions post-purchase under Meg and the actions taken. Were they in HP's best interests or the boards?

      2. Glenturret Single Malt

        Re: Sold as seen

        Singing

        Flinging

        Clinging

        Stinging

        Ringing

        Winging

        Whinging???

        Bingeing

        Cringeing

        Hingeing

        Impingeing

        Singeing

        Language, eh!

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. adam payne Silver badge

    .. Mike Lynch's barrister has branded HPE's $5bn fraud trial against his client "a case study in buyer's remorse"....

    It certainly does sound like buyer's remorse for a massive company that pushed ahead with the purchase regardless.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Buyer's remorse?

    Couldn't they just file a dispute with PayPal?

    1. Blane Bramble

      Re: Buyer's remorse?

      I think they did, but the problem is they did receive the goods, so now they're trying to complain it wasn't as described.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Buyer's remorse?

      HP could try that but when eBay check the bidding history and discover that HP created a second account to bid up Autonomy's price to stop Oracle bidding, their case would fall apart.

      Far easier to go to the US courts with the "a mean foreign company tricked us" routine.

      1. ma1010

        Re: Buyer's remorse?

        Was Oracle really also bidding on Autonomy? If that's so - while HP is a monster, I now sort of wish they'd have let Oracle buy it so Larry could have taken it in the shorts. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

        1. aks Bronze badge

          Re: Buyer's remorse?

          Apparently, Oracle did have a look but decided the price was way too high.

          1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

            Re: Buyer's remorse?

            That should have been a big clue right there.

            A big clue reading "don't pay that much for this company you numpties"

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Buyer's remorse?

          Oracle had a presentation for acquiring Autonomy given to them by a bank called Qatalyst Partners. They were working with Autonomy but it is unclear if the presentations were made on Autonomy's behalf or an attempt by Qatalyst Partners to generate interest in an acquisition that they would subsequently broker. The presentations are here

          and here. Larry wasn't interested as the proposed price ($10.3bn) was an 80% premium over the market capitalisation.

          Leo mentioned the threat of a bid from Oracle but I'm unsure if there was anything more than rumour to this between the initial bid and acquisition.

          It's worth noting that this was the time of HP vs Oracle over Oracle support for Itanium products, so tensions were running pretty high between them and the ability to deliver the other a black eye (either by beating the other to acquire a company or dismiss an acquisition as over-priced) may have been too hard to resist.

  5. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Facepalm

    How to fall off a ladder, and hit every rung on the way down

    See title!

  6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I suppose if you want to derive an adjective from "pretext" then "pretextual" is as good as any. And Miles comes from a profession which uses the word "tort" for something you can't even eat so he shouldn't be complaining.

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Could be worse - the Scottish law of negligence is "delict". I always want to put "Turkish" in front of it when I'm teaching!

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      I thought pre-textual as a description of a document meant that it was written in hieroglyphics? Or possibly crayon...

      Such as say HPE's internal due dillegence report on the purchase of Autonomy. Which turned out to be the word SHINY!!!!! scrawled in pink highlighted 3" tall high letters 200 times.

  7. lafnlab
    Headmaster

    Americanism?

    The first reference of "pretextual" presented by the OED is from The Times (London, not New York) in 1837.

    1. First Light Bronze badge

      Re: Americanism?

      Thank you! Many English words that made their way across the Atlantic fell out of use here and are now considered "Americanisms." One such word is "trash" which was in use in these isles in the late 18th century in reference to a novel as trashy. OED says it comes from late Middle English.

      Besides, some reporters on here are writing from the US, so let them use their own vernacular.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Americanism?

      A lot of the verbing of nouns and other such supposed grammatical horrors turns out to be very old when you look into it. Just like the people who complain about the Americans' overuse of Zs in words like realise - where when you look it turns out that realize was the correct spelling when the first colonists left and they just never bothered to change a good thing. I think the dropping of Us from words like colour is a 19th Century thing though.

  8. bazza Silver badge

    Does sound like the aim of HP's management was to make a big deal, worry about how to make it work out later. Trouble was when they tried that part they found they'd made too big a deal...

  9. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
    Stop

    Deloitte signed off the books and HP didn't bother to do their homework. A big tech company whinging because the accounts are complex is pretty special.

    American tax system is complicated. This is where the Big 4 make a pile of money.

    At the end of it all, Deloitte and KPMG adviced against the deal. However, Leo Apothecker decided to overrule their recommendation.

    Why is HP suing Autonomy (instead of Leo) is beyond me.

    I can't wait for the result of the hostile takeover by Xerox of HP. I'd like to find out what "colorful" accounting practice HP is doing.

    1. jeffty

      They're not suing Leo out of self-preservation.

      If they went after Leo, it would call into question the board's judgement in appointing him in the first place, all of the correspondence and communication between board members (before, during and after his tenure). The number of skeletons falling out of various closets and the fallout in either direction would probably prove useful ammunition for any pending shareholder lawsuit against HP and it's board of directors (and I've no doubt there will be one after this omnishambles).

      Far easier to blame Autonomy and Lynch (the outsider) than start exposing the inner manglement circle to the scrutiny of the outside world...

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        And think of the precedent it would set. "None of us would ever be safe again."

      2. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

        If they went after Leo, it would call into question the board's judgement in appointing him in the first place, all of the correspondence and communication between board members (before, during and after his tenure).

        This would be perfect for the defense, isn't it?

  10. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    A missed opportunity...

    I'm more surprised that Robert Miles in his closing statement, despite his previous incarnation as a (now dead) Trance music pioneer, didn't simply describe the HP management as "Children".

    Cue the piano sweet-cheeks : DUM, dum dum dum, dum dum dum, dum dum dum...

  11. SpammFreeEmail

    Whitman has always appeared to stumble from success to success.....

    .....despite her continued errors.

    The one that always makes me smile the most is knowing she spend $144m (that's not a typo) of her own money on her run for California Governor on a Republican ticket in 2010.....Oh did I laugh, when I saw the results.

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