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Morgan Lewis Sues Pierce Bainbridge for $430K in Past Due Rent

April 8, 2021, 8:15 PM

Global law firm Morgan Lewis & Bockius is suing litigation boutique Pierce Bainbridge for what the firm says is more than $430,000 in back rent for Los Angeles office space.

Morgan Lewis filed an unlawful detainer action in a California superior court Wednesday. Pierce Bainbridge, Beck, Price & Hecht LLP and Pierce Bainbridge P.C. have five days after being served notice to pay the money or “surrender and deliver up possession” of the property, according to the complaint.

The firm alleges that it sublet the property in January 2019 to Pierce, Bainbridge, Beck, Price & Hecht LLP. Pierce Bainbridge stopped paying for the office and parking spaces in April 2020, according to the complaint.

The California-based boutique has seen a number of departures since 2019, including several partners who spun off to form Hecht Partners.

Founder John Pierce has reportedly been involved in recent high-profile matters involving accused Wisconsin shooter Kyle Rittenhouse, former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, and at least one person arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot.

If the firm fails to pay or vacate, “legal proceedings will be commenced against you to recover possession of said premises with such other damages as may be allowed by law,” Morgan Lewis said in the complaint .

Morgan Lewis is seeking attorney fees and the fair rental value of the premises valued at $1,447 per day beginning April 1.

Pierce Bainbridge didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cause of Action: Unlawful detainer.

Relief: Past due rent, attorney fees, forfeiture of agreement, fair rental value of premises for each day defendants remain in possession of property through entry of judgement.

Attorneys: Marc A. Liverant of Morgan Lewis represents the plaintiff.

The case is Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP v. Pierce, Bainbridge, Beck, Price & Hecht LLP, Cal. Super. Ct., No. 21STCV13140, 4/7/21.

To contact the reporter on this story: Melissa Heelan in Washington at mstanzione@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com

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