Jensen: 'Pillsbury does not have insurance to cover $45m lawsuit'

Pillsbury Winthrop is facing a fresh wave of claims from former partner Frode Jensen, who is now alleging that the firm does not have insurance to cover his $45m (£27.4m) lawsuit

Jensen, who was the subject of the now infamous press release issued by Pillsbury after the lawyer announced that he was leaving for Latham & Watkins, is claiming that the firm is in “poor financial condition”.

Jensen, who lodged the defamation law suit against the firm late last year, also alleges in an affidavit dated 8 January of this year, that “Pillsbury does not have insurance coverage for the claims asserted in the Amended Complaint”.

As a result of these claims, Jensen, who is currently fighting Pillsbury's attempts to settle the lawsuit through arbitration, has applied for prejudgment remedy.

This means that Pillsbury could be ordered to ringfence or secure the $45m until the time that the lawsuit is resolved. The hearing to seek prejudgment remedy will take place today (10 February).

For 2002, Pillsbury reported a 6.5 per cent decline in gross revenues to $415m (£252.9m), although profits per partner rose by 5.2 per cent to $700,000 (£426,600). The number of equity partners had declined by 10 since 2001, and overall the firm had 100 lawyers less than last year.

Jensen launched the suit after Pillsbury issued the press release last year.

The press release stated that the former partner, who was co-head of the firm's international M&A practice and a former member of the management board, left “on the heels of sexual harassment allegations involving Mr Jensen and a significant decline in his productivity”.

Pillsbury refused to comment on the issue of its insurance coverage.