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“There were situations in which Mr. Hands would have trusted my word and advice. I would always be as truthful and honest as I could be.”
——David Wormsley

THE WORM’S TURN

Wormsley Takes Stand as Hostile Witness
Terra Firma lawyer David Boies called Citigroup’s David Wormsley to the stand as a hostile witness at the end of Monday's court proceeding at U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

Boies introduced a series of emails sent by Wormsley in which, Wormsley testified, he was trying to strengthen the relationship between Terra and Citi.

 “I know it may seem strange to advise you how to handle the banks, but I am incapable of not trying to get you the best possible outcome,” Wormsley said in a November 2006 email to Hands.

“There were situations in which Mr. Hands would have trusted my word and advice,” Wormsley said under questioning from Boies. “I would always be as truthful and honest as I could be.”

Wormsley spent 25 minutes on the stand before Judge Jed S. Rakoff sent the nine-member jury home for the evening.

Hands claimed in his own testimony last week that Wormsley had misled him about the auction of EMI, causing him to overpay for the company. Wormsley’s lawyers, led by Ted Wells, have contradicted Hands’s account of three crucial phone calls between the two longhtime friends and colleagues in May 2007.

"I relied on David Wormsley as my adviser, my banker, the person who was advising me on what to do," Hands told the court last week. "On a personal level, David Wormsley was someone who's a friend, someone we worked with successfully for a very, very large number of years, and to sue someone who is a friend and you've worked with successfully is a difficult, difficult thing."

Wells came off as incredulous in his cross-examination. "You are accusing a good friend of 10 years of lying and defrauding you, yet at no time did you pick up the phone and tell him you thought he had misled you?" he asked. Hands confirmed that was the case, explaining that he believed it would be "inappropriate" for him to have made such a call. 

This is a crucial moment for Hands and company, as the jury takes stock of Wormsley’s credibility But the stakes are also high for Citi, whose reputation would surely suffer if the jury decides Hands was duped into peeling a couple of extra billion dollars for EMI. The New York-based bank is hoping to distance itself from its near-collapse in the financial crisis two years ago.

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