Long-running Weil conflict case gets May trial date

Weil Gotshal & Manges will face trial in May over a long-running legal malpractice suit relating to allegations that the firm was conflicted during its representation of an unfair competition case.

The matter, which first arose in 2003, stems from the firm’s representation of New Jersey store Fashion Boutique of Short Hills in an unfair competition suit against Italian fashion house Fendi.

Fashion Boutique claims that Weil was conflicted during the Fendi dispute, which resulted in Fashion Boutique being awarded $110,000 (£62,900) in damages in 2000, because fashion house Prada, which bought a controlling interest in Fendi in 1999, was also a client of the firm.

Supreme Court Justice Richard Lowe, who voiced his frustration at the drawn-out matter, set a 5 May trial date during a hearing earlier this month after denying a summary judgment motion made by Weil’s lawyer, Allen & Overy partner Michael Feldberg.

Mr Justice Lowe described the lawsuit as “one of my oldest cases”, before stating that the “case is going to trial or it’s going to get out of here”.

Weil New York-based partner Richard Davis told The Lawyer: “While the judge determined that he could not dismiss this case as a matter of law, we believe it remains totally without merit.”

New York-based sole practitioner Paul Grobman is representing Fashion Boutique.