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Hunton & Williams has been hit with a $150 million lawsuit in Wisconsin claiming that the law firm maliciously squeezed a broker out of a contract and should pay up for the company’s losses. The lawsuit alleges that Hunton & Williams and client Insight Equity Holdings LLC ousted plaintiff Minerals Development & Supply Co. from a supply chain agreement in which Minerals Development was the middleman. Filed in Monroe County, Wis., Circuit Court, on July 30, the lawsuit seeks punitive damages for what Minerals Development asserts was the law firm’s intentional and malicious conduct. The Richmond, Va.-based law firm issued a statement through a spokeswoman in response to the action. “This suit was filed by an adversary of one of our clients,” it said. “These allegations have no merit, and we plan to vigorously defend against them.” Minerals Development alleged that it held an exclusive contract to supply Superior Silica Sands LLP with raw materials for the manufacture of a type of sand used in oil and gas well operations. Superior, a Hunton & Williams client, is a subsidiary of Insight Equity. Minerals Development also asserted that it held an exclusive contract to purchase raw materials from Wildcat Cos. II LLC. The arrangement was that Wildcat sold to Minerals Development, which sold to Superior. Minerals Development alleged that Hunton & Williams, with Superior’s permission, helped Wildcat end its agreement with Minerals Development and strike a better deal directly with Superior. That agreement, the plaintiffs argue, was made before the contract ended between Wildcat and Minerals Development. Hunton & Williams partners involved in the deal as Sean Ducharme, Jeffery Edwards, Kimberly Magee “and numerous other lawyers,” according to the complaint. Ducharme works in the law firm’s private equity practice group, Edwards is a litigator and Magee practices in the capital finance and real estate group. Representing Minerals Development are Daniel Konicek and James Lynch of Konicek & Dillon in Geneva, Ill. Konicek said that e-mail messages between Hunton & Williams’ attorneys will serve as a “smoking gun” in the case.

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