Proskauer Rose has escaped a malpractice suit by a former principal at Oaktree Capital Management who claimed the law firm did not properly advise him on leaving the private equity fund. Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Richard Lowe last week dismissed the complaint by Russel Bernard, who left Oaktree in 2005 to form Westport Capital Partners. The judge also awarded Proskauer litigation costs and disbursements.
Bernard, who sued Proskauer in March, claimed that after following the firm’s advice on how to leave the Los Angeles-based fund to start his own, Oaktree expelled him and filed an arbitration claim for breach of contract and fiduciary duty. Mr. Bernard said after months of representing him Proskauer refused to represent him in the arbitration because of a conflict it had not disclosed; Proskauer claimed it just did not want to litigate against a major fund like Oaktree.
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