Multimillion-Dollar Hedge Fund Defense Win
MORRISTOWN – New Jersey Superior Court Judge Donald Coburn of Morristown today dismissed a multibillion-dollar lawsuit filed against New York-based hedge fund Exis Capital Management Inc., fund manager Adam Sender and other defendants after ruling that the damages claim filed by Canada’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. was not supported by law.
The court’s decision brings an end to the long-running lawsuit, which originally was filed by Toronto-based Fairfax in 2006 against a large group of hedge funds that were accused of conspiring with financial analysts and researchers to organize a “bear raid” by allegedly spreading false rumors and driving down Fairfax’ stock price.
Fairfax had sought as much as $8 billion in damages, with the company’s remaining claims totaling approximately $3.2 billion against Exis Capital, Mr. Sender, Exis Capital Chief Operating Officer Andrew Heller and Memphis, Tennessee-based Morgan Keegan & Co. (now known as Raymond James Morgan Keegan). The expected six-week trial was scheduled to begin today.
In his decision, Judge Coburn ruled that Fairfax’ commercial disparagement damages claims were “speculative,” “unreliable,” and not supported by New Jersey law. The judge dismissed the case with prejudice, preventing Fairfax from filing similar claims in the future.
“Today’s ruling is in keeping with what we have said since day one: our company plays by the rules and this lawsuit should never have been filed in the first place,” says Mr. Sender, fund manager for Exis Capital. “Our plan is to move forward and work to reestablish Exis Capital as one of the leading hedge funds in the world.”
Exis Capital was represented in the case by noted Texas trial attorneys Mark S. Werbner and Richard A. “Dick” Sayles.
“I’m proud to say that our client has emerged from Fairfax’ self-described ‘wheel of pain’ with a complete victory,” says Mr. Werbner. “This lawsuit was nothing more than an attempt by Fairfax to silence its critics, and we’re thankful the court decided to end the company’s meritless claim.”
Attorneys for Fairfax from New York’s Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman indicated that the company would appeal. The case is Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. (FFH) v. SAC Capital Management LLC, L-2032-06.