Highland Seeks Dismissal Of Investor Lawsuit

Apr 24 2013 | 10:55am ET

Highland Capital Management poured scorn on a lawsuit filed against it by investors in a collapsed hedge fund, calling the litigation sour grapes.

The hedge fund asked a judge in Texas to dismiss the lawsuit, which alleges Highland misled investors about the prospects for its Highland Credit Strategies, which imploded amidst the credit crisis when Barclays Capital canceled its credit line and seized assets. Highland said that the investors have no evidence to present at trial—set to begin May 28—that they relied on Highland's assurance in the spring of 2008 when deciding to stay in the fund, Law360 reports.

"A vague statement that the outlook of the fund is good isn't the same as if Highland said the redemption rate was X when it was actually Y," Highland lawyer Michael Aigen said.

The investors argued that Highland fraudulently covered up the fact that it was facing $471 million in redemptions that it couldn't cover. A lawyer for the group, Geoffrey Jarvis, said an adviser to the investors had asked about redemptions, and had been told they were "fairly light." In fact, investors had moved to pull 42% of the fund's assets.

Jarvis said the investors had sufficient evidence to proceed to trial. The judge in the case said he would consider Highland's motion for summary judgment.

Elsewhere in Dallas, Highland is facing sanctions from another investor, W44 Trading Co., which has made similar claims against the hedge fund. W44 said that Highland has failed to produce documents showing redemptions for the fund.

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