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International Law

Facing Multiple Suits re $32M in Client Funds, K&L Gates Sues Ex-Partner in Custody in Hong Kong

Posted Aug 8, 2011 5:01 AM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A former partner in the Hong Kong office of K&L Gates is in custody, charged with theft and forgery.

Navin Kumar Aggarwal, 44, resigned from the law firm in mid-June, after being confronted with the allegations, K&L Gates tells Bloomberg. He is accused of stealing approximately $2 million from the accounts of RIM China Co. held by the law firm and transferring the money to another company.

The firm says it is investigating and cooperating fully with authorities. In an email to the news agency it says it “will pursue and support any and all measures—administrative, civil and criminal—against any wrongdoer to rectify any harm that has been done."

K&L Gates filed suit against Aggarwal in late June, alleging a breach of trust and seeking a return of "secret profits" and a freeze of his assets by Hong Kong's high court. While at the firm, Aggarwal was part of its betting and gaming practice group.

A lawyer for Aggarwal declined the news agency's request for comment.

Meanwhile, the firm is facing at least six lawsuits by other clients, seeking reimbursement of a total of around $32 million in funds, according to Bloomberg. Most were filed during the past month or so, apparently in relationship to the Hong Kong office.

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