Autonomy turned to Morgan Lewis and Slaughter and May for outside counsel on its sale to HP. Slaughter and May M&A partners Stephen Cooke and Gary Eaborn did not respond to requests for comment about their roles advising Autonomy. Nor did two spokeswomen for Morgan Lewis, which also advised Autonomy last year on its $380 million acquisition of the digital archiving, e-discovery, and online back-up and recovery businesses of Boston-based information management company Iron Mountain.
William Myers, a former technology M&A partner at Morgan Lewis who took the lead for Autonomy on the Iron Mountain deal and the company's subsequent sale to HP, left the firm in October to become general counsel of Palo Alto-based venture capital firm Norwest Venture Partners. Myers, who also once worked at Brobeck, declined to comment about Autonomy when reached by The Am Law Daily.
Also declining to comment: White & Case, which acted as counsel to investment bank Qatalyst Partners, Autonomy's lead financial adviser its acquisition by HP.
In accusing Autonomy of cooking its books, HP claims it relied on opinions from Big Four accounting firms Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and KPMG, with KPMG hired to audit Deloitte's review of Autonomy, according to public statements by HP's CEO Whitman.
A KPMG spokesman tells The Am Law Daily that contrary to media reports, the global accounting firm "performed limited, non-audit work for HP on this matter. Because of our professional obligations and client confidentiality, we cannot discuss our engagement further without HP's consent."
Deloitte said in its own statement provided to The Am Law Daily by Deloitte spokesman Jamie Harley that the firm "was not engaged by HP, or by Autonomy, to provide any due diligence in relation to the acquisition of Autonomy."
"Deloitte UK was auditor to Autonomy at the time of its acquisition by HP," Harley says in the statement. "Deloitte's most recent audit opinion on Autonomy's financial statements was for the year ended 31 December 2010 and was signed in February 2011."
Adds Harley: "Deloitte categorically denies that it had any knowledge of any accounting improprieties or misrepresentations in Autonomy's financial statements. We conducted our audit work in full compliance with regulation and professional standards. We are unable to discuss our audit work further due to client confidentiality. We will cooperate with the relevant authorities with any investigations into these allegations."
Deloitte's former general counsel, Joseph Lambert, joined risk-consulting firm Kroll earlier this year, according to Corporate Counsel. The firm escaped a class action suit this week related to its audits of Longtop Financial Technologies, a Chinese software company listed in the U.S. that collapsed in 2011 as a result of a massive accounting scandal, according to sibling publication The Am Law Litigation Daily.
As for Autonomy, LTN notes that the 17 percent of the e-discovery market it held among Am Law 100 firms last year has since fallen to just 4 percent, according to the most recent technology survey by The American Lawyer.