One thing that troubled law firm Pierce Bainbridge has had no trouble with is attracting headline-hogging clients – people like Stormy Daniel’s former lawyer and convicted blackmailer Michael Avenatti, former Trump presidential advisor George Papadopoulos, former Trump consultant Carter Page, CNN anchor Don Lemon, US representative Tulsi Gabbard and of course the increasingly ill-fated Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump’s so-called ‘personal attorney’.
But Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht, which LawFuel has already reported is closing down following a mass exodus of partners (and notwithstanding a claim of ‘fake news’ from its stood-down co-founder) a firm given to circus-barking its latest client acqisition, has now added to the list with a Russian billionaire who seems to have a bio rippted not so much from the headlines, but rather a rather down-and-dirty airport thriller.
The bitter legal fight in the California courts has apparently involved written threats about ‘weaponizing’ the courts with ‘assassin” attorneys and with claims alleging a ‘Lucifer’ identity, grotesque pornography and much more identified in various court filings.
But the representation of oligarch Sergey Grishin has been notably absent from the usual carnival surrounding PB’s latest clients, despite a single press release, perhaps largely given the firm’s recent woes.
The Scarface Billionaire
According to Grishin’s wikipedia page and Alchetron.com, Grishin is a former Russian bank owner and founding partner of RosEvro group who is currently sitting on an estimated $500 million to $1.1billion.
The ex-banker has been a US resident since 2008 and is the previous owner of the “Scarface Mansion” (which is actually in Montecito, California and not Miami as portrayed in the Al Pacino movie) and has documented himself online as an avid gun collector.
He has made the news at different times for his exploits in his native Russia and tales of how he came by his substantial fortune, as well as his world record-breaking $200 million insurance policy purchase.
Grishin, who has previously initiated criminal proceedings against a long-serving assistant for embezzlement in Russia in a matter involving claims of extraordinary threats and aggression.
In the United States, where Grishin has been a US resident since 2008 the current action is against is former wife, Anna Fedoseeva and her business partner, Jennifer Sulkess. Sulkess has been an art director and producer, most recently producing the movie ‘Nona’ with Kate Bosworth.
The various allegations against the women allege that they had entered a short term “oral” loan agreement to finance their film production company, which both women deny.
Initially, Grishin was represented by law firm Glaser Weil Fink Jacobs Howard Avchen & Shapiro LLP but the firm withdrew as Grishin’s counsel and following attempts by the two defendants to obtain restraining orders against Grishin in the Los Angeles Superior Court and after allegedly receiving threats from Grishin that made them fear for their lives.
Glaser Weil was in the news after a malpractice lawsuit reported in Law360 in which it was reported ““Glaser Weil, Fink and Khan formed a “plan, scheme and conspiracy” to foul up the litigation”.
Grishin’s attorney Amman Khan went to Pierce Bainbridge with his client but, like so many Pierce Bainbridge attorneys, he has since joined an exodus from the firm as LawFuel has reported, leaving in the past week although his biography as a “fierce trial lawyer and litigator” continue to appear on the PB website.
According to Ryan Boysen at Law360, Khan quickly became the firm’s rain maker when he first joined the firm. He wrote that multiple attorneys inside the firm mark Khan as being their largest generator of revenue.
Along with 50 or more other attorneys, Khan has left the firm. He now practices from his own law firm, Khan Law Office, touting itself as “California’s premiere boutique law firm” specialising in business, trust and judgment enforcement litigation.
The defendants have since filed cross-complaints alleging an array of heinous allegations including cyberstalking by Grishin, domestic violence, assault, battery, invasion of privacy, civil extortion and intentional infliction of emotional distress, including allegations of written threats via WhatsApp, email and including audio and visible recordings.
In April 2019, Sulkess was awarded a permanent restraining order after proving by “clear and convincing” evidence that Grishin remained an imminent threat. Three months later, following the arrest of Fedoseeva in Russia and the termination of a criminal case against her, the Russian court records indicate the arrest was illegal.
And this month, in a further blow to the Grishin proceedings, a claim for copyright infringement and public disclosure of private facts was also dismissed. These followed copyright claims made by Grishin in respect of Instagram posts that apparently included death threats and which were then posted to Sulkess’s Facebook page.
In June 2018, while still in Russia, Fedoseeva was seriously assaulted and resulting in black eyes and broken teeth that was undertaken by Grishin according to her police complaint.
According to records and multiple media sources, in November 2018 Grishin had Fedoseeva arrested in Russia. Fedoseeva was released after spending 10 days in prison and the criminal case against her was terminated shortly after.
In July 2019 Russian court records show that Fedoseeva’s arrest was ruled “illegal”.
In March this year, Fedoseeva filed in the LA Court for a protective order as directors in the defendant movie production company, Twelve Productions Ltd. Fedoseeva, who was then resident in Vancouver, alleges a variety of serious threats made by Grishin, including imprisonment and that she would “die in prison”. The Order also alleges graphic descriptions of violence, dismemberment, and death.
An extract from the Order is below –
The declaration in the Protective Order also details allegations of what the parties feel Grishin can do to implement his threats – as below –
The lawsuits will be watched with interest by LawFuel, as will the ongoing developments with the original law firm who took the ‘Scarface’ billionaire as a client – Pierce Bainbridge.
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