Hedge Fund Expert Networker’s Suit Against Lawyer Tossed

An expert-networking consultant’s malpractice lawsuit blaming her former lawyer for her conviction on insider trading charges was thrown out by a federal judge in New York.

Winifred Jiau, a former consultant with Primary Global Research LLC, sued her former defense lawyer, Joanna Hendon, claiming she failed to properly investigate the case, rejected requests to negotiate a plea deal, and “conspired” with prosecutors to allow a government witness to testify falsely.

Jiau is serving a four-year prison term for selling inside information to hedge fund managers after being convicted in June 2011 by a federal jury in Manhattan for passing illegal tips about technology companies including Nvidia Corp. and Marvell Technology Group Ltd.

The evidence at trial showed the Jiau fed inside information to Noah Freeman, a former SAC Capital Advisors LP portfolio manager, and Samir Barai, founder of New York-based Barai Capital Management LP. The tips helped them reap millions of dollars in illicit profits.

U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer yesterday rejected Jiau’s arguments and granted Hendon’s motion to dismiss the case, saying that the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the conviction. The judge said Jiau’s malpractice claim “fails.”

Hendon’s former law firm, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, had called Jiau’s allegations “categorically false” in court papers.

The case is Jiau v. Hendon, 12-cv-07335, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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