Sequoia India asks court to dismiss former lawyer’s lawsuit: report

Sequoia India asks court to dismiss lawsuit by its former lawyer: Report

Sequoia Capital India has asked a local court to dismiss a defamation case filed by one of its former general lawyers, saying it was an attempt to restrict its free speech rights and harm its interests. the venture capital firm’s court ruling.

Sequoia is embroiled in a legal battle with Sandeep Kapoor after he included the company in a defamation lawsuit against media companies that reported on a leaked Sequoia email from June 2. Kapoor was Sequoia’s internal general council for almost nine years until 2019.

The lawsuit is the latest in a series of problems for Sequoia that has left the company struggling with complaints from beginners about damaged trust following high-profile management scandals at some of its portfolio companies in India and Southeast Asia.

Kapoor’s firm, Algo Legal, said in a press release and its lawsuit that Sequoia sent an email to its portfolio companies this month with unfounded references to “concerning details” about the law firm that had damaged its business and reputation.

Sequoia denied the allegations in a 19-page court case in India’s technology hub of Bengaluru on June 18, calling the lawsuit “frivolous and troublesome” and saying it was obliged to inform its portfolio companies when it detects certain irregularities.

An independent investigation by Sequoia Capital-backed fashion start-up in Singapore, Zilingo, found that certain payments to Algo and its related entities “were not in line with the commitment terms / contracts”, which forced Sequoia to warn its portfolio companies to deal with the law. firm, reads the court ruling.

Sequoia’s filing, which was seen by Reuters, was not made public.

A spokesperson for Algo and Kapoor said on Sunday they told the court on Saturday that the investigation into Zilingo’s cases was ongoing and there was no final finding, and that Sequoia’s allegations in the filing were without merit.

Sequoia first set out the findings of the Zilingo investigation, saying it found that fashion startup Algo and its related entities paid more than $ 6 million between 2020 and 2022.

In such circumstances, Sequoia said, “the right to freedom of speech prevails over the plaintiff’s right to reputation as the statement was issued without any malice and without any intent to defame.”

Sequoia was Algo’s top client in accounts, but the US venture capital firm ended its partnership with Algo in January. Sequoia on Sunday declined to comment on its court ruling.

The court in Bengaluru will hear the case next on June 29.

In April, Zilingo suspended his 30-year-old CEO and co-founder Ankiti Bose, a former Sequoia analyst, for alleged financial irregularities. Evil was later dismissed in what she said was an unlawful termination.

Zilingo and Bose did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday.

Bose’s removal, Zilingo had previously said, followed an independent inquiry into complaints about what the start-up described as “serious financial irregularities”.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by techlives staff and is being published from a syndicated stream.)

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