British tycoon facing fraud trial in US after £8billion takeover deal
British tech tycoon facing fraud trial in US after £8billion takeover deal launches High Court appeal against extradition
- Mike Lynch lost a multibillion-dollar fraud action to Hewlett Packard in 2011
- He has signalled his intention to appeal against Mr Justice Hildyard’s ruling
A British technology tycoon facing extradition to the United States has mounted an appeal bid.
Two judges began hearing Mike Lynch’s challenge at a High Court hearing in London today.
Then home secretary Priti Patel approved Mr Lynch’s extradition to the United States to answer criminal fraud charges in January 2022.
A judge at Westminster Magistrates’ Court had ruled Ms Patel could decide whether to order extradition. Mr Lynch is appealing against that ruling by District Judge Michael Snow.
Lawyers representing the US Government say Judge Snow made ‘correct’ decisions.
Mike Lynch (pictured) had been accused of deliberately overstating the value of his business, Autonomy, before it was acquired by the American technology giant in 2011
Lord Justice Lewis and Mr Justice Julian Knowles are expected to consider rival arguments over two days.
Mr Lynch was at the hearing.
Ms Patel’s decision to approve extradition came after Mr Lynch lost a multibillion-dollar fraud action, at the High Court in London, over the sale of his software company Autonomy to Hewlett Packard (HP) in 2011.
Mr Lynch had been accused of deliberately overstating the value of his business before it was acquired by the American technology giant.
HP had sued Mr Lynch and Autonomy’s former chief financial officer Sushovan Hussain for about five billion US dollars (£3.7 billion) following its purchase of the Cambridge-based firm for 11.1 billion US dollars (£8.3 billion) more than a decade ago.
A High Court judge who oversaw that trial said HP had ‘substantially succeeded’ in its various claims against the two men – but was likely to receive ‘substantially less’ than the amount claimed in damages.
Ms Patel had wanted to consider Mr Justice Hildyard’s ruling on HP’s claim before making an extradition decision.
Mr Lynch has denied all charges against him.
A judge at Westminster Magistrates’ Court (pictured) had ruled Ms Patel could decide whether to order extradition
Alex Bailin KC, who led Mr Lynch’s legal team, told Lord Justice Lewis and Mr Justice Julian Knowles that Judge Snow had made ‘wrong’ decisions.
He said, in July 2021, Judge Snow had ‘rejected’ Dr Lynch’s ‘arguments against extradition’ and ‘sent his case to the Secretary of State’ for her to decide.
Mr Bailin outlined a number of legal arguments and said Judge Snow had been ‘wrong’ to conclude that extradition was ‘in the public interest’.
He said the appeal should be allowed and told the two judges that the Serious Fraud Office would ‘determine’ whether to prosecute in the UK.
Lord Justice Lewis and Mr Justice Julian Knowles were told that the civil litigation overseen by Mr Justice Hildyard has yet to conclude.
They heard that there has been no decision on the amount of damages and said they do not know whether Mr Lynch is going to appeal.
Mr Lynch has signalled his intention to appeal against Mr Justice Hildyard’s ruling.
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