The Commercial Court is expected to sit to 8pm on several days of the mammoth civil fraud case brought by US technology giant Hewlett-Packard against former executives of Autonomy, a UK start-up it acquired in 2011. 

On the opening day yesterday of what is expected to be nine months of hearings at the Rolls Building, Mr Justice Hildyard said that the court will open for extended hours in May to accept evidence from Christopher Egan, a former salesman at Autonomy, in California.  

Co-defendant Sushovan Hussain is also due to appear by video. He is unable to leave California following a criminal conviction for which he is due to be sentenced in May. He is scheduled to give evidence in the London civil case over 10 days in September and October. 

Discussing the case timetable yesterday, Mr Justice Hildyard also agreed to several Friday sittings. He asked counsel to give him sufficient warning when late sittings were required as 'I have to let the powers that be know when the court has to be open longer'.  

Autonomy Corporation Ltd. and others v. Lynch and another, the biggest civil fraud trial in UK history, is hearing allegations that Dr Mike Lynch fraudulently inflated the value of Cambridge-based software business Autonomy before an $11bn sale to Hewlett-Packard in 2011. Lynch and Hussain deny Hewlett-Packard's claims. Lynch, who faces criminal charges in the US, which he also denies, is counter-suing HP for $160m.

Hewlett-Packard and Autonomy are represented by Laurence Rabinowitz QC, Conall Patton and Emma Jones of One Essex Court, Patrick Goodall QC of Fountain Court Chambers and Max Schaefer of Brick Court Chambers, instructed by City firm Travers Smith;  Dr Mike Lynch is represented by Robert Miles QC, Richard Hill QC, Sharif Shivji, Tom Gentleman and Zara McGlone of 4 Stone Buildings, instructed by magic circle firm Clifford Chance.

The trial continues.