By Casey Sullivan
NEW YORK, Feb 19 (Reuters) - A former Dewey & LeBoeuf
partner sued by Barclays Bank in the United Kingdom for
defaulting on a loan has responded with a lawsuit in New York
federal court saying he did not take out the loan and that the
loan agreement was fraudulent.
Londell McMillan, the former head of Dewey's entertainment,
media and sports group, sued Barclays on Tuesday in U.S.
District Court in New York in a dispute over a loan the bank
allegedly made to finance McMillan's capital investment in Dewey
before the law firm dissolved. In court papers, McMillan asked
Judge Andrew Carter to rescind the Barclays loan agreement on
grounds that it was a "fabrication."
McMillan said he joined LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae in 2007
before it merged with Dewey Ballantine. At the time, the firm's
leaders required him to pay 36 percent of his compensation, or
$540,000, toward a capital contribution that financed the firm's
business operations, according to the lawsuit. McMillan claims
in the suit that he did not sign up for a loan program to pay
off the obligation.
Last December, Barclays sued McMillan in the United
Kingdom's High Court of Justice seeking to recoup more than
$540,000 for payment of a loan that McMillan allegedly took out
on June 24, 2010, to finance his capital investment in Dewey.
McMillan claimed in court papers on Tuesday that he declined
to enroll in the Barclays loan program. He said that he "has no
recollection of signing any such (loan agreement)."
A Barclays spokesperson declined to comment.
McMillan said he would have no reason to sign up for the
loan program on June 24 because two days earlier, Dewey's Chief
Financial Officer Joel Sanders wrote him an email saying that
his $540,000 of capital obligations had already been paid off,
according to the lawsuit.
Prior to the June 22 email exchange, McMillan had already
notified Dewey's leaders that he planned to leave the firm,
according to the lawsuit. He said he had told the firm in March
he wanted to wind down his practice with Dewey and that the firm
owed him nearly $1 million in compensation dating back over the
past three years.
In an email sent on June 22, Sanders responded with a tally
of what the firm said it owed McMillan, according to the
lawsuit. In the email, Sanders wrote the firm was reducing its
debt to him by $540,000 to cover McMillan's capital
contributions, McMillan said in court papers.
"Your capital has already been deducted and processed as it
was way overdue and you never processed the loan documents,"
Sanders wrote McMillan, according to the lawsuit.
Since Dewey had told McMillan that his capital contribution
was being deducted from compensation, there was no reason for
him to sign the loan agreement, McMillan said.
Kevin Fritz, a lawyer for McMillan said that if the court
for some reason finds the loan to be valid, McMillan would then
argue that Barclays defrauded him when it did not disclose
"material information" that Dewey was foundering when he took
out the loan.
The fraud claims mirror allegations made against Citibank by
a former Dewey & LeBoeuf partner pending in New York federal
court and by two former Howrey partners in San Francisco
McMillan demanded a jury trial to prove his claims.
The case is L. Londell McMillan v. Barclays Bank PLC, U.S.
District Court Southern District of New York, No. 13-CIV-1095.
For the plaintiff: Kevin Fritz and Jeffrey Schreiber of
Meister Seelig & Fein
For Barclays: Not immediately available.
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