Camulos Co-Founder Wins Legal Battle With Former Firm

Sep 19 2012 | 12:46pm ET

A judge did not have kind words for Camulos Capital co-founder William Seibold. But he did have about $4.6 million—plus interest—for him.

A nearly three-year-old legal battle between Seibold, who left Camulos at the end of 2007, and the now-defunct hedge fund and its managing partner, Richard Brennan, ended with a legal victory for the former. Seibold had accused Camulos and Brennan, who shuttered the hedge fund last year, of refusing to pay out $4.7 million in redemptions; Camulos countered that Seibold had stolen its proprietary information and clients and of "mailing it in" on the job.

A highly sarcastic Delaware Chancery Court Judge Leo Strine agreed with at least one of Camulos' claims: that Seibold had breached his contract with the firm. But that breach was "limited" and despite Camulos' wide-ranging claims "did not harm" the hedge fund.

"The emotions of the parties have led to a suit the expense of which seems to be disproportionate to what is financially at stake," the judge wrote. "Both parties, to be frank, have behaved less than admirably."

Strine rejected Camulos' other arguments, including that Seibold was a less-than-ideal employee. The judge noted that Camulos gave Seibold a $2.8 million bonus the year before he quit, "an odd thing to do if Seibold's work had been substandard."

Still, Strine did not hand a total victory to Seibold, despite finding for him on all but one claim. He rejected "his demand for an excessively high rate of prejudgment interest" and refused to force Camulos to pay his legal bills.

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