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Gundlach responds to TCW lawsuit, and plans countersuit

January 7, 2010 |  3:49 pm

Ousted TCW Group money manager Jeffrey Gundlach, who was sued today by TCW for alleged theft of company data and secrets, is expected to soon file a counterclaim suit against the L.A. financial giant.

Here is the statement from Gundlach’s new firm, DoubleLine Capital, responding to the TCW suit:

The allegations in the complaint are meritless and will be proven so in a court of law. TCW’s lawsuit is a blatant attempt to damage DoubleLine’s business and clients. DoubleLine and Mr. Gundlach are asserting their legal rights in a law suit to be filed shortly, which will demonstrate the thoroughly baseless nature of TCW’s claims and seek redress for TCW’s deplorable conduct.

The false and hyperbolic personal attacks by TCW are obviously a gratuitous and irrelevant gutter tactic, which merely underscores the weakness of TCW’s claims.

The TCW suit, filed in state Superior Court, primarily focuses on allegations that Gundlach, who was fired by TCW on Dec. 4, was plotting to leave the firm for months. The suit alleges that Gundlach and members of his staff systematically downloaded proprietary TCW client and trading information in the months leading up to Gundlach’s termination, with the intent of using it to launch a rival money management firm.

The 50-year-old Gundlach, a star bond fund manager who had been TCW’s chief investment officer since 2005, formed DoubleLine on Dec. 14. About 40 of his 65-member TCW staff have defected to DoubleLine.

TCW asserts that Gundlach had become “unfit” to remain a senior officer, citing behavior that had become “erratic” and “increasingly and openly confrontational.”

As noted in this earlier blog post, the suit says that on the day TCW fired him, the firm found marijuana, drug paraphernalia and pornography in his TCW offices. Gundlach maintained a Westside office in addition to his office in TCW’s downtown L.A. headquarters.

Gundlach has hired law firm White O'Connor Fink & Brenner. TCW’s suit is being handled by the firm Quinn Emanuel.

[An earlier version of this post incorrectly said Gundlach's law firm was White & Case.]

-- Tom Petruno

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