Law Firms

Suit claims law firm acted as 'puppet master' in divorce case to protect client Morgan Stanley

The ex-wife of a Morgan Stanley executive claims in a lawsuit that Blank Rome gave her bad advice in a divorce because it wanted to preserve its client relationship with the financial services firm.

Kristina Armstrong filed suit in New York on Friday, Reuters reports. She alleges that Blank Rome failed to disclose its representation of Morgan Stanley in a $400 million transaction and acted to protect her then-husband Michael Armstrong in the divorce case. Michael Armstrong was head of capital markets and international and domestic private wealth management at Morgan Stanley; he is no longer with the firm.

Reuters has this quote from the complaint: “Mr. Armstrong sat at the controls of Morgan Stanley, which employed and paid Blank Rome millions of dollars in fees, thus allowing Blank Rome to be the ultimate ‘puppet master,’ as Blank Rome could control Ms. Armstrong’s divorce litigation in a manner designed to protect Morgan Stanley.”

The suit claims that, during the litigation, Blank Rome didn’t seek possession of Michael Amstrong’s securities license, the “single most important economic asset at play” in the divorce. The suit valued the license at $12 million to $16 million.

Michael Armstrong told Reuters he was stunned by his wife’s allegations and he had no knowledge of the Blank Rome’s relationship with Morgan Stanley.

Blank Rome said in a statement that it considers the suit to be without any merit and it intends to defend itself vigorously.

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