Deutsche Bank Seeks $62 Million From Vik Over Failed Lawsuit

Jul 02, 2014 10:20 am ET

July 2 (Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Bank AG is seeking about 36 million pounds ($62 million) in legal costs from Norwegian entrepreneur Alexander Vik from a failed lawsuit brought by his Sebastian Holdings Inc. fund last year.

The German lender won an additional 350,000 pounds in legal costs from Vik at a London court hearing today, after a judge ruled on June 24 that he was personally liable for the fund’s obligations in the case. Vik’s lawyers had sought more time to make an interim payment.

“While Mr. Vik may be a wealthy man, a sum of that magnitude is probably not readily available from one’s wallet,” his lawyer, Yash Kulkarni, told Judge Jeremy Cooke.

In November, Sebastian Holdings lost a lawsuit seeking as much as $8 billion from Deutsche Bank over trades liquidated during the 2008 financial crisis. Judge Cooke said Sebastian Holdings didn’t have valid claims and ordered it to pay the bank about $236 million from margin calls, plus legal costs.

Sebastian has appealed the ruling and a hearing is scheduled for November. Lawyers for Vik and Sebastian didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

“We are vigorously pursuing SHI -- and its principal Alexander Vik -- to honor its legal obligations and make payment,” the Frankfurt-based bank said in a statement.

‘Inconsistent’ Evidence

Since the November ruling, Vik has presented “inconsistent” evidence and displayed a “lack of frankness and transparency” about Sebastian’s financial position, Deutsche Bank lawyer Sonia Tolaney said at the court hearing this morning.

The fund hasn’t paid for the margin calls or the legal costs, Judge Cooke said in the June 24 ruling.

Sebastian Holding’s suit was one of the largest ever brought in a U.K. court, Deutsche Bank said during the 2013 trial. Vik testified the stress caused by the lender’s margin calls during market turmoil of 2008 led him to be hospitalized. Sebastian Holdings claimed Deutsche Bank allowed a trader to breach limits and then improperly liquidated its accounts.

Monaco resident Vik, a Harvard graduate who captained the university’s golf team in the 1970s, is sole owner and director of Sebastian Holdings. He founded Internet firm Xcelera Inc. in the 1990s, and now runs a vineyard in Chile and a luxury hotel chain, Vik Retreats.