Hewlett-Packard has won its civil fraud trial against Mike Lynch, after the US firm claimed that the man once hailed as Britain’s answer to Bill Gates duped it into paying £8.2bn for his software firm Autonomy.
The verdict, handed down at the high court by Mr Justice Hildyard, comes on the same day as a deadline for home secretary, Priti Patel, to decide whether Lynch can be extradited to the US to face a criminal fraud trial there.
“Claimants have substantially succeeded in their claims in this proceeding,” the judge said.
He said the damages were likely to be significantly less than the $5bn claimed by Hewlett-Packard (HP) and successor companies.
HP claimed it was induced into overpaying for the takeover by fraud perpetrated by Lynch and a key lieutenant.
In separate proceedings, Lynch is still awaiting a ruling from the Home Office on whether he can be extradited to the US, where he is accused of defrauding investors in HP over the £8.2bn deal in 2011.
A year after the takeover, HP wrote down the value of Autonomy by almost $9bn and claimed that Lynch and his team had falsely inflated the value of the company through accounting trickery.
A London court ruled last July that Lynch, who denies any wrongdoing, should be extradited.
A US trial would cover much of the same ground as the London civil case.