The least surprising lawsuit of the year

morgan9.gifAfter this, you just knew this was coming.
The Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP lawsuit against Morgan Stanley’s board of directors, former executives and lawyers alleges that directors breached their fiduciary duty and abused their control of Morgan Stanley by mismanaging the firm for several years, but particularly by handing out large severance payments to former Morgan CEO Philip Purcell and his former right hand man, Stephen Crawford. The lawsuit also asserts claims against the firm’s departing general counsel and outside law firm Kirkland & Ellis for legal malpractice and professional negligence in their handling of the Ron Perelman fraud case in Florida that recently resulted in a $1.57 billion judgment against Morgan.
Interestingly, the lawsuit even took a swipe at new Morgan CEO John Mack, who the lawsuit claims approved the payoffs to Messrs. Purcell and Crawford “to secure his return to power.” Mr. Mack has publicly stated that he did not know about the awards before he was hired, but that he is not going to “second-guess” Morgan board decisions that were made prior to his taking over as CEO. Mr. Mack did waive his own pay guarantee when the awards to Messrs. Purcell and Crawford became public.

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