Statement on behalf of Dr Mike Lynch from his lawyers Christopher Morvillo and Reid Weingarten (5 February, 2020):
Mike Lynch has submitted himself for arrest, a formality required as part of the extradition process initiated by the US Department of Justice (DOJ).
This case has wider implications for British business. The US claims concern alleged conduct in the UK. Dr Lynch is a British citizen who ran a British company listed on the London Stock Exchange, governed by English law and UK accounting standards. This extradition request reflects yet another example of the DOJ's attempts to exert extraterritorial jurisdiction over non-US conduct. The forum bar in the UK Extradition Act was enacted by the UK Parliament to protect British citizens from such a scenario.
Dr Lynch vigorously rejects all the allegations against him and is determined to continue to fight these charges.
Since Hewlett-Packard (HP) first raised these allegations more than seven years ago, Dr Lynch has steadfastly denied them and has worked hard to properly respond and set the record straight. The UK Serous Fraud Office previously investigated and did not pursue the allegations. Dr Lynch has now answered HP’s claims in the appropriate forum, the High Court in London, where he attended court every day of the 10-month trial. During that trial, Dr Lynch testified about all of these allegations for more than 20 days. He has not hidden, nor has he shied away from defending his conduct. Having patiently and diligently defended the case in England for several years, he awaits the civil trial judgment. The US DOJ should not have commenced extradition proceedings prior to the judgment of the English High Court.
Alex Bailin QC, said in court:
Dr. Lynch categorically denies all the allegations against him and will be resisting extradition on the basis of the forum bar. These matters concern a British citizen, UK-based conduct, a UK listed plc, culminating in a UK civil trial in which judgment is pending – these matters unquestionably belong here in the UK. The forum bar exists to provide real protection against this interventionist type of action and this, we will say, is a paradigm forum bar case.
I can also say that the superseding indictment, reaching back and spanning almost a decade, is breathtakingly broad. The jurisdictional claim here is unwarranted and immediately raises questions about whether this court's process is being abused and issues of dual criminality.
On 22 March 2019, a superseding indictment was filed against Mike Lynch in the United States. In response, Dr Lynch’s lawyers, Chris Morvillo of Clifford Chance and Reid Weingarten of Steptoe & Johnson, issued the following statement:
These new allegations are simply preposterous.
For the last 6 years, Mike Lynch has been diligently and responsibly responding to HP’s specious allegations, guided and surrounded by more lawyers than he would care to count. At all times he has acted lawfully and professionally in defending himself and his work at great personal sacrifice.
Simultaneously, and despite all odds, Mike Lynch has built another billion-dollar UK company. He has helped former colleagues who lost their jobs (because of these allegations), secure employment to support their families at normal rates for their fulltime work. He has also generously helped former colleagues hire lawyers to defend themselves against these contrived allegations. Yet somehow, without a shred of evidence, these same acts of ingenuity and kindness, all of which occurred entirely in the UK, are now said to support a conspiracy against the United States.
Something is horribly amiss in San Francisco, where the Wild West "shoot first, ask questions later" approach to investigations — originally deployed by HP in this case — is sadly still alive and well.
Mike Lynch is vehemently not guilty of these charges. When the true facts are revealed, it will be apparent that the allegations are false and recklessly maintained and that, like HP's civil claims, the allegations serve only to underscore that this entire dispute is a flawed theory in search of facts.
Conspicuously filed on the eve of the UK civil trial between Mike Lynch and HP, the makeweight new charges unveiled in San Francisco today are plainly designed to inflame and breathe life into a case plagued by aging and unsupported allegations.
They are denied. Unequivocally.
Notably, however, these questionable new allegations, like the underlying charges, are predicated on events that occurred predominantly in England. While the US may seek to police the world, this commercial dispute is about to be heard in the UK courts, where it belongs, and Mike Lynch is looking forward to defending his good name in his home country.
On 29 November 2018, an indictment was filed against Mike Lynch in the United States. In response, Dr Lynch’s lawyers, Chris Morvillo of Clifford Chance and Reid Weingarten of Steptoe & Johnson, issued the following statement:
This indictment is a travesty of justice. Mike Lynch is a world-leading entrepreneur who started from nothing and spent his life building a multi-billion dollar technology business that solved critical problems for companies and governments all around the world. These stale allegations are meritless and we reject them emphatically.
This case is unsupportable. It targets a British citizen with rehashed allegations about a British company regarding events that occurred in Britain a decade ago. It has no place in a US court. The claims amount to a business dispute over the application of UK accounting standards, which is the subject of a civil case with HP in the courts of England, where it belongs.
There was no conspiracy at Autonomy and no fraud against HP for the DoJ to take up. HP has a long history of failed acquisitions. Autonomy was merely the latest successful company it destroyed. HP has sought to blame Autonomy for its own crippling errors, and has falsely accused Mike Lynch to cover its own tracks.
Mike Lynch will not be a scapegoat for their failures. He has done nothing wrong and will vigorously defend the charges against him.