Pierce Bainbridge managing partner goes on leave amid internal probe
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Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht managing partner John Pierce has gone on a leave of absence amid an internal probe into his alleged acceptance of money from a lender for personal use.
Law.com broke the story. The publication had contacted Pierce Bainbridge after discovering a lien filed on its assets by Karish Kapital, which bills itself as a cash advance company for businesses. The lien also was filed on Pierce individually.
Pierce Bainbridge acknowledged it was investigating Pierce’s handling of Karish Kapital money in a statement to Law.com. The law firm said partner Tom Warren has taken over as managing partner as the investigation continues.
Pierce told Law.com the firm’s statement is false and he was dealing with “family, medical” issues.
Pierce also has been targeted in prior litigation by ousted partner Don Lewis, who claims he was fired after confronting Pierce about alleged financial misconduct.
Lewis had claimed the firm’s operations were supported with money from litigation funder Pravati Capital. According to Lewis’ allegations, Pierce Bainbridge overvalued cases to obtain loans from the company, and it wasted money that it received.
Pierce Bainbridge had countered that Lewis was fired after he was accused of sexual misconduct and after he sent a mass email to partners disparaging the firm’s business practices.
Pravati Capital has said it profited from its relationship with Pierce Bainbridge.
Meanwhile, Law360 reports that Pierce Bainbridge was sued Monday by a lawyer who represented a former pro wrestler before Pierce Bainbridge took over the case. The lawyer’s suit alleged John Pierce overvalued the wrestler’s right-of-publicity case to drum up funding from Pravati Capital.
The lawyer, Bruce Chasan, alleged in the federal lawsuit that Pierce Bainbridge didn’t pay him for the time he spent on the case.