Herbies repatriates $200m on behalf of SEC

Herbert Smith and the new head of its in-house advocacy unit Murray Rosen QC have won a case for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), securing the largest-ever repatriation of funds to the US.

The City firm won the mandate to advise the SEC in November 2002, when Rosen – then a member of 11 Stone Buildings – was enlisted as counsel to the US regulator.

A civil case was initially brought by the SEC in 2001 against software corporation AremisSoft and two former executives, including chief executive Roys Poyiadjis. The SEC said AremiSoft and its executives had overstated the value of the company’s contracts, revenues and acquisitions and that they had been engaged in insider trading.

The US Department of Justice instructed the Isle of man’s Attorney General to obtain a restraining order over $175m (£95.9m) held by Manx banks, and Herbert Smith assisted the SEC to join the proceedings as a noticed party.

The litigation settled earlier this month when Poyiadjis agreed to pay the SEC $200m (£109.6m).7 Bedford Row’s David Farrer QC acted for the Department of Justice. Chris Cope, a partner at Dickinson Cruickshank & Co, acted for Poyiadjis and instructed Alun Jones QC.

Other defendants, including Poyiadjis’s father, were represented by Manx sole practitioner Richard Halsall, with Hodge Malek QC of 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square as counsel.