Bloomberg News

Blavatnik Opposes JPMorgan Delay Over Lawyer’s Heart Surgery

January 31, 2012

(Updates with letter excerpt in the third paragraph.)

Jan. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Billionaire Len Blavatnik, who is suing JPMorgan Chase & Co. claiming it lost 10 percent of the $1 billion it managed for him, refused to extend the fact- gathering period as requested by one of the bank’s lawyers, who is about to have open-heart surgery, according to the lawyer.

Bruce Birenboim, a lawyer for JPMorgan, explained Blavatnik’s refusal in a letter to a Manhattan judge yesterday. Birenboim said Blavatnik wouldn’t extend the schedule two months to June 29, a request Birenboim made because he will be unavailable for six to eight weeks.

“I have never in my 30 years of practice found an adversary’s position to be so unprincipled and unprofessional,” Birenboim, a partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, wrote to New York State Supreme Court Justice Melvin L. Schweitzer. He said Blavatnik and his lawyers “have chosen to litigate this matter without regard” for “common civilities” and “professional courtesies.”

Blavatnik sued in 2009, claiming that New York-based JPMorgan, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, put twice as much money into risky mortgages as Blavatnik’s investment guidelines allowed while Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon was unloading such investments from the bank’s books. Blavatnik says the bank lost $98 million of his investment.

Richard I. Werder Jr., a lawyer for Blavatnik at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP in New York, didn’t immediately return a call for comment on the letter.

The case is CMMF LLC v. J.P. Morgan Investment Management Inc., 601924-09, New York State Supreme Court (Manhattan).

--Editors: Stephen Farr, Andrew Dunn

To contact the reporter on this story: Thom Weidlich in Brooklyn, New York, at tweidlich@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.


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