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Ikos Can’t Search Ex-Employees Computers, Judge Rules

Ikos Asset Management Ltd. affiliates lost a bid for a court order to search the computers of former employees Sam Gover and Peter Ho for confidential information and software it says was taken from the hedge fund.

Judge Timothy King in London rejected an application made by Ikos Cif Ltd. and Phaestos Ltd. in a written decision today, saying it was “in truth an unjustified fishing expedition” to find evidence of wrongdoing.

Gover and Ho are involved in separate lawsuits against Ikos claiming they are owed 6 million pounds ($9.7 million) in unpaid bonuses. Ikos is also suing them for the return of 12 million pounds in bonus payments because they didn’t comply with their duties, King said in the ruling.

Ikos, which uses computer algorithms to spot profitable trades in futures markets, has been beset by lawsuits and spying allegations for more than two years. Its founder Elena Ambrosiadou and her estranged husband and former business partner, Martin Coward, have filed more than 40 lawsuits against each other in at least four countries.

Gover and Ho now run Altiq LLP, a research-driven hedge fund that competes with Ikos, according to the ruling. Ikos claimed in its lawsuit that the men took information about the fund’s profits and bonus payments and may have used its software. There is no evidence the pair misused any information, King said.

Jonathan Chamberlain, the lawyer representing Gover and Ho, declined to comment in an e-mail. Ikos’s lawyer, Alan Watts, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

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