JPMorgan Chase (JPM) has fired back at attempts by representatives of the former Lehman Brothers to link its collapse with the so-called Whale.
Bruno Iksil, a former JPMorgan trader in London, had nothing to do with a collateral call that a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan says hastened Lehmans fall. Lehman Brothers Holdings and its unsecured creditors filed the suit.
Last month Lehmans representatives asked Judge James Peck for permission to ask French authorities to compel testimony from Iksil, a French national. According to Lehman, a report published by JPMorgan in January that reviewed a $6.2 billion trading loss last year by the banks chief investment office showed that the office, where Iksil worked, played a major role in managing JPMorgans relationship with Lehman and other trading partners.
Lehman sued JPMorgan in June 2010, charging that JPMorgan's demand for billions of dollars in collateral in the days leading to Lehmans implosion contributed significantly to the firms ruin.
In court papers filed Wednesday, JPMorgan accused Lehman of seeking to capitalize on media attention generated by the report to connect the office and Iksil with the lawsuit, notwithstanding their lack of any meaningful involvement with the relevant events.
According to JPMorgan, Iksil had no unique or significant role with respect to these matters (and indeed had virtually no role at all) that would be sufficient to justify the burden of taking his deposition abroad.
JPMorgan also cites statements by former Treasury secretaries Henry Paulson and Timothy Geithner that the banks collateral calls did not cause Lehmans failure.
Andrew Rosssman, a lawyer for Lehman, did not respond to a request for comment on the filing, which was first reported by Reuters.
JPMorgan spokesman Joe Evangelisti also did not respond to a request for comment.
Peck is expected to hear arguments on Lehmans request at a hearing scheduled for March 13.
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