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Symbiont Wins Victory and $70 Million Damages Award in Delaware Chancery Court

Paul, Weiss secured a resounding victory for Symbiont.io, Inc. in its lawsuit against Ipreo Holdings, LLC, IHS Markit Ltd. and certain of their affiliates in the Delaware Court of Chancery. In a decision, the court ruled in favor of Symbiont on substantially all issues and ordered Ipreo to pay damages estimated at approximately $140 million—one of the largest damages awards in recent years in Chancery Court.

The lawsuit arose out of the defendants’ bad-faith efforts to undermine Synaps Loans, LLC a joint venture between Symbiont and Ipreo intended to leverage blockchain technology in the syndicated loan market. In particular, Symbiont challenged the 2018 acquisition of Ipreo by IHS Markit—Synaps’ main competitor—as a violation of the broad non-compete provision contained in Synaps’ joint venture agreement. Symbiont’s claims included claims for breach of contract and tortious interference. The defendants asserted various counterclaims, including for breach of contract.

Following a four-day trial held via Zoom in December 2020, Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster ruled, in a 127-page memorandum opinion, that Ipreo breached the relevant non-compete provision as soon as IHS Markit’s acquisition of Ipreo closed. Vice Chancellor Laster further ruled that, as a remedy for that breach, Ipreo was liable to Synaps for damages equal to the profits that IHS Markit had generated from its competitive business over a more-than-two-year period, and estimated Symbiont’s share of those damages to be “in the vicinity of $70 million.” Vice Chancellor Laster also rejected all but one of the defendants’ counterclaims and concluded that any nominal damages owed to the defendants were fully offset by the damages owed to Symbiont.

The Paul, Weiss team was led by litigation partners Andrew Gordon and Jaren Janghorbani and counsel Daniel Mason.

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