Paul Singer, founder and CEO of $17 billion New York hedge fund Elliott Management, wants to track down the person who leaked his fund’s latest quarterly investor letter to trade magazine AR Alpha. The hunt started this week with Singer seeking a court order to force AR to hand over emails and divulge the name of the source that leaked the fund’s information.
With a Manhattan state court hearing set for Sept. 9 on the matter, the source is probably shaking on his/her boots right now. But not to worry. According to American Chronicle, First Amendment lawyers are scoffing at the idea that Singer’s fund has legal grounds to force AR to uphold the hedge fund’s confidentiality agreements and hand over the source.
American Chronical: “It just seems to me to be colossal gall,” said Chuck Tobin, a media lawyer with Holland & Knight in Washington, who said New York state has tough laws protecting journalists from revealing their sources.
Lawyers for Singer, a top fundraiser for Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 bid for president, stopped short of demanding AR not publish the information – a route legal experts say would most likely have fallen flat due to the First Amendment protections.”
It is unclear what potentially harmful or damaging information is in the The New York-based hedge fund’s June 30 letter. One thing though is for certain, Singer — who has made his name and increased his fortune by buying third-world debt — has filed an ’emergency motion’ with the court demanding AR disclose the source of the information, saying it wants to find and punish the leaker. According to law experts, Singer’s prospects for success aren’t great.