Perella Escalates Clash With Kramer as Settlement Talks Halt

  • Kramer's team schemed to steal business, Perella alleges
  • Bankers sued in May for withheld pay as they left the firm

Perella Weinberg Partners filed a countersuit against four bankers, saying that settlement talks broke down in the dispute over their firing.

The investment bank filed a complaint Tuesday in New York state Supreme Court against Michael Kramer and three members of his team, claiming they broke their contract by secretly working to form a rival firm. The bankers sued in May, saying they were wrongly dismissed and cheated out of pay.

“Mr. Kramer and his partners’ active recruitment of Perella Weinberg Partners employees and clients for their new venture was a clear violation of their partnership and employment agreements, which resulted in their termination for cause,” the New York-based company said in a statement. “While our efforts to negotiate a settlement on this matter have been unsuccessful, we will continue to protect and enforce our rights under our agreements.”

Tuesday’s complaint is “prophylactic nonsense PWP hopes will distract from Joe Perella’s perfidy,” Lisa Solbakken, a lawyer for the terminated bankers, said in an e-mailed statement, referring to the firm’s chairman and founding partner.

“We look forward to taking Mr. Perella’s testimony under oath and exposing the hypocrisy that’s come to mark this firm,” said Solbakken, of New York-based Arkin Solbakken LLP.

Perella Weinberg acquired Kramer’s company, Kramer Capital Partners, in 2006 to build its restructuring practice.

The case is Perella Weinberg Partners LLC v. Kramer, 653488/2015, New York State Supreme Court, New York County (Manhattan.)

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