Rarely does anyone accuse the litigators at Quinn, Emanuel, Urquhart & Sullivan of not being aggressive enough, but that’s essentially what attorneys representing Washington Mutual shareholders are saying in asking the judge hearing WaMu’s bankruptcy case for permission to investigate JPMorgan Chase’s acquisition of WaMu.
The shareholders, represented by Susman Godfrey (which replaced Venable in this role), want to pick up the investigation after lawyers for WaMu’s estate (Quinn and Weil, Gotshal & Manges) dropped a similar investigation last month, court records show. The investigation, which Quinn and WaMu started in 2009 and pursued aggressively for a time, centers on allegations that JPMorgan torpedoed WaMu’s chances of finding another buyer in late 2008 by leaking confidential information and false rumors about WaMu’s finances, court records show. Without a buyer to save it, WaMu limped into an FDIC receivership, and the agency later approved a deal to sell WaMu to JPMorgan for $1.9 billion. As we’ve previously reported, Quinn went after JPMorgan like gangbusters, hoping to find evidence for a possible lawsuit. They convinced Judge Mary Walrath to compel discovery from JPMorgan and later asked her to extend that order to about 20 other entities, including Sullivan & Cromwell, the firm that advised JPMorgan on its deal to buy WaMu.
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