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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Gundlach May Be Up Next

News summary by MFWire's editors

Jeff Gundlach may soon take the stand in his courtroom fight with TCW [see profile]. A insider close to the Los Angeles theft-of-trade-secrets and breach-of-contract trial told MFWire.com, that despite initial reports that the fixed income guru would testify yesterday [see MFWire.com, 8/10/2011], the DoubleLine [see profile] CEO and former TCW chief investment officer is expected to speak in court today instead. And the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times both report that Gundlach could testify today. (Here's a different version of the NYTimes piece.) Separately, TCW parent Societe Generale is fighting a larger battle amidst market turmoil.

To read the rest of the story of the fight between Gundlach and TCW, click here.

Yesterday jurors in the fight between Gundlach and TCW did hear testimony from a "computer forensics expert," Pensions & Investments' Randy Diamond reports, who claimed that the code behind DoubleLine's and TCW's computer systems is "substantially similar," though some is "generic" to other financial institutions and though the expert confirmed that, of the 300,000 lines of code he checked, only 200 came from DoubleLine's system [see transcript].

TCW fired Gundlach and some of his team in December 2009, the same day the firm announced its acquisition of rival MetWest to replace Gundlach's team, and Gundlach and others launched DoubleLine later that month. In January 2010 TCW fired off a lawsuit, accusing the DoubleLine crowd of swiping trade secrets (and tossing in claims about finding drugs, pornography, sex toys and more in Gundlach's Santa Monica office, claims the judge tossed from court before trial). Gundlach fired back, alleging that TCW dumped him to avoid shelling out hundreds of millions of dollars in fees. The trial started up two and a half weeks ago in Los Angeles, home to both DoubleLine and TCW.

Meanwhile, Societe Generale, the French bank that owns TCW, is fending off rumors amidst the Eurozone debt crisis and fears of a possible downgrade of France's national debt. Bloomberg's Simmons reports that SocGen has asked the Autorite des Marches (a market watchdog in France) to investigate the rumors about SocGen, and the Associated Press' Angela Charlton reports that today the regulator issued a warning about "the spreading of unfounded rumors concerning financial assets listed in Paris." 

Correction: A previous version of this story cited an incorrect lines of code number initially included in a P&I article. That P&I article, and this story, have been updated to include the correct number of lines of code, 300,000, that the "computer forensics expert" examined.

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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