Goldman, GLG Hedge Funds Win Lehman Ruling

Dec 17 2009 | 12:24pm ET

A group of hedge funds run by Goldman Sachs and GLG Partners have won a court ruling that could keep billions out of the hands of several Lehman Brothers affiliates and the bankrupt bank’s hedge fund clients.

The High Court in London has ruled that Lehman Brothers International Europe fell “spectacularly short” of keeping client money properly “ring-fenced” from its own. Justice Michael Briggs ruled that money that was not properly ring-fenced cannot be claimed from the US$1 billion controlled by Lehman administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers, and that the Lehman affiliates and some hedge fund clients will not be able to pursue claims totaling US$3 billion against the PwC-controlled pool.

“This shocking underperformance has occurred for a number of reasons,” Briggs said. “LBIE failed to identify client money, and therefore also failed to segregate, vast sums received from or on behalf of a significant number of clients.” That means that some of Lehman’s prime brokerage customers, including the CRC Credit Fund and Claren Road Asset Management, have been reduced to the status of unsecured creditors.

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