‘The Firm’ Update – Pierce Bainbridge meets Lambert, Bendini & Locke?
A disappearance, leaked documents, a litigation fund, a complaint to the bar, accusations of bribes, death threats, etc. .
“[John] you have an unsustainable business model. . Trying to do what you do – building a great New York business overnight is extremely risky. . The last person to try it in New York was Mark Dreier. He ended up in prison. »~ Lawyer in New York, September 2018
Dan Garner – The saga of Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht, the previously self-proclaimed quasi-extinct ”Fastest Growing Law Firm in World History”, Gets more and more crazy every day. RightFuel has already characterized the legal battle of the firm with the ex-partner and whistleblower Donald Lewis like a Grisham-style legal thriller. In The company, Tom Cruise as Mitch McDeere is sentenced to Harvard, while his brother Ray is sentenced to prison. John Mark Pierce of the Harvard Law School Class of 2000 could put himself in a position to achieve the rare double on his own.
The founder of Pierce Bainbridge is said to be a die-hard fan of US President Donald J. Trump. This matches the cabinet representation of Rudy Giuliani, George Papadopoulos, Carter Page, a Russian oligarch, a co-advisory relationship with Harmeet Dhillon – Woman for Trump Co-Chair – and the maintenance by Pierce Bainbridge of Marc Mukasey of Mukasey, Frenchman & Sklaroff.
In the summer of 2019, Mukasey – who Yahoo called “the lawyer at the center of Trump’s universe“- described Pierce Bainbridge as a” first class “operation. Mukasey then added, “Pierce Bainbridge is focusing on. . . expand its footprint as an elite litigation firm.
Several months later, Mukasey withdrew as counsel for Pierce Bainbridge citing ethical concerns; and reports have surfaced last week that Pierce Bainbridge was close its doors. Channeling his inner Trump, Pierce called word of the company’s demise as “total fake news. “In the wake of Pierce’s questionable proclamation, Ryan Boysen from Law360 posted a shocking report, that Pierce Bainbridge apparently has a “estimated debt of $ 65 million»To the funder of the Virage Capital Management litigation.
With Pierce Bainbridge brutalized throughout the legal community, Putney Twombly Hall & Hirson LLP (Michael D. Yim) and Littler Mendelson PC (S. Jeanine Conley) find themselves in an increasingly embarrassing situation given their close ties – as co-defendants in the Lewis disputes – to the disgraced company.
The exodus of the mass prosecutor
The carnage was considerable. About 60 lawyers have left in recent months, leaving the current number in single digits.
The deceased lawyers have practiced or are now practicing in a diaspora of law firms, such as Armstrong Teasedale, BakerHostetler, Baker & McKenzie, BraunHagey & Borden, Browne George & Ross, Brown Rudnick, Covington & Burling, Davis Polk, Fish & Richardson, Gibson Dunn , Glaser Weil, Grais & Ellsworth, Grant & Eisenhofer, Kasowitz Benson, Kirkland & Ellis, Kaye Scholer, Kobre Kim, Margolis & Tinsman, McKool Smith, Murphy & King, Murchison & Cumming, Reid Collins & Tsai, Steptoe & Johnson, Sullivan & Worcester, Quinn Emanuel; White & Case, Wachtell Missry, Wilson Sonsini, Withers & Bergman and White & Case.
Such a massive rejection of the Pierce Bainbridge Way is remarkable.
In recent weeks, as the cabinet slow but surely falls out of favor passed through warp speed, the hard-hitting Pierce was eerily silent. Chatter developed that Pierce was “hiding”; RightFuel learned that Pierce allegedly communicated that he was in a “treatment facility”. This revelation contradicts Pierce’s claim (since dismissed) that Lewis’s claims regarding a Pierce “substance abuse” problem were allegedly libelous.
“Threat to legal society”
In another devastating blow, Gustavo Escamilla, the president of a former Pierce Bainbridge client, Greenway Nutrients, filed a new complaint with the California State Bar against Pierce and Pierce Bainbridge. Based, in part, on new information, the complaint calls for “John Mark Pierce to be expelled from the practice of law” and calls Pierce a “threat to legal society” who “must be arrested immediately.”
The underlying case was handled by Pierce and former law firm partner Jonathan Sorkowitz.
Surprisingly, Escamilla claims: “Greenway has good reason to believe that Mr. Pierce and his firm Pierce Bainbridge accepted bribes from individuals with criminal backgrounds and under investigation by the Department of Justice and Security interior for several years. “
Escamilla says several inquiries from Pierce Bainbridge regarding communications with litigation funder Pravati Capital have been met with deadlocks, apologies and silence.
The documents disclosed
Compounding Pierce’s problems, documents have been leaked suggesting additional problematic activity. Pierce and the firm’s former or current client, Troy Queen (linked to singer Barry Manilow), have apparently raised capital for a litigation fund that Pierce was involved in setting up in September 2018 named “Talon LF, LLC. Pierce allegedly claimed to have raised several hundred thousand dollars for the fund and expressed a desire to raise more than $ 100 million.
From a quick glance, there appear to be two confusing representations:
First, a communication accompanying Talon’s solicitation documents states: “Vertically integrated into PB with 97% success rate on emergencies. Whatever definition of “success” seems to be wrong.
Second, materials represent a positive “rate of return on investment” on cases funded by Pravati Capital; however, nothing seems to indicate that Pravati had declared a default of $ 9,157,072.95 million – as evidenced by a UCC filing of May 2019 on behalf of Curran.
According to Law360, “Several lawyers familiar with the situation said the firm had repaid Pravati in full with a new loan it received from Virage.” Escamilla, however, as stated in the Greenway Bar complaint, believes that “Pierce [potentially] used. . . bribe to reimburse part or all of a default of more than $ 9.1 million.
Proceedings relating to cash advances
Pierce, the firm and related entities, are also defendants in two recent lawsuits by cash advance lenders – Commercial capital of the west coast and Slate Advance LLC. Pierce is said to have received hundreds of thousands of dollars upfront in exchange for future interest in fixed debts but has failed to meet his payment obligations.
Aggravation of problems, seven days only after payment on the west coast advance ceased, Pierce, according to the New York Law Journal, obtained a loan on behalf of the business from a payday loan entity at a residential address. Pierce and the firm are defendants in at least five financial embezzlement lawsuits.
What did the partners know?
Any idea that Lewis’s former partners were in the dark about a financial foul play, which he exposed over a year ago, seems unlikely given what Lewis claimed and sent them.
In March 2019, Lewis provided his former partners with a 96-page, over 400 paragraph-long complaint. A August 2019 Forbes item characterized Lewis’ allegations as an “explosive and detailed” account of “serious financial irregularities”.
“An incredible training ground” ???
Tom Warren has also left the company. Warren told American lawyer: “Pierce Bainbridge has been a great training ground. Lewis noted: “The firm has faced well-founded allegations of fraud, misogyny, drug addiction, unethicality, deception, dishonesty, dysfunction, potential criminality and more; which begs the question: an “incredible training ground” for what?
However, Warren’s comments align with Pierce’s recent statement, also in the American lawyer, this “[Pierce Bainbridge] continues to maintain close relationships with its deceased partners and is committed to working with all of its former lawyers. These statements of camaraderie go against any account that Pierce was acting like some sort of lone wolf.
The two main partner outposts are Armstrong Teasedale and BraunHagey & Borden. The related persons, illustrated below, are defendants in the Lewis complaint or in a pending amended complaint, with the exception of Franklin Velie.
Lewis, however, noted: “I have known Frank Velie since I was a boy, our families were very close. In adult life, Frank asked me for an intimate personal favor, I accepted. As far as I know, Frank sat and did nothing for a year, as I was relentlessly vilified and attacked by this remarkably corrupt law firm; it was deeply hurtful and deeply disappointing for me and my family. “
The BraunHagey and Borden boys
On the mass starts, Lewis remarked, “They’re like egocentric kids breaking something, and rather than admitting it like adults, they hide it behind the couch.
Time will tell if the former partners of Lewis, Littler Mendelson and Putney Twombly, and Pierce Bainbridge will ever be held accountable.