The law firm and principal lawyer that LawFuel has been reporting on extensively – Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht – has now reported that founder John Pierce is on a leave of absence following an internal investigation.
A report on Law.com reported that Pierce, a lawyer given to heroic proclamations of the firm and his own abilities and strengths, has accepted money from a lender for personal use.
Law.com reported a statement from firm representative Holly Baird saying: “A preliminary investigation has revealed that John M. Pierce accepted money from Karish Kapital LLC for his personal use. Mr. Pierce is on an indefinite leave of absence from the firm,” said Baird.
Baird later sought to eliminate the “indefinite” description from the statement but provided no details on the length of the leave. She said partner Tom Warren has taken over as acting managing partner “as the firm continues its investigation.”
The firm has represented clients such as Rudy Giuliani, Tulsi Gabbard and Michael Avenatti.
Pierce, when reached on Monday evening by the publication, said he was dealing with “family, medical” issues and strongly denied the statement, saying it was false.
He no longer appears on the firm website.
Warren did not directly respond to questions about Pierce’s comments on the statement. However, in another email, Baird told Law.com, “We know this has been a difficult time for John, and we wish him well.”
The statement came hours after Law.com asked the firm about public records filed on Feb. 25 that show Karish Kapital LLC filed a lien on the assets of the Pierce Bainbridge firm, Pierce individually, and John M Pierce Enterprises LLC. The lender lists a residential address in Flushing, Queens.
LawFuel’s reports have pointed to a significant number of issues directly bearing on the role and personality of John Pierce.
Former partner Don Lewis has been the firm’s most ferocious critic, claiming that the firm mislead Pravati Capital, an early firm backer, as well as highlighting the various firm departures, which have been mounting steadily in recent months.