Thursday, July 12, 2012

Law firm trolling for Duke lawsuit

A Boston law firm that represents investors claiming securities violations is already looking for clients amid the debris of the Duke Energy merger.

Block & Leviton said it's "investigating possible breaches of fiduciary duties" by Duke's board, which canned its intended new CEO, former Progress Energy chief Bill Johnson, hours after closing the merger.

The firm noted Standard & Poor's placing Duke stock on a credit watch list soon after Johnson's abrupt departure and an investigation launched by N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper.

Duke's stock has dropped about 5 percent between July 2, when the merger closed, and Wednesday's market close. It's up slightly on Thursday morning.

Progress investors joined a number of class-action lawsuits after the merger with Duke was announced in early 2011. All were settled within a few months.

With passions aflame now, law firms aren't likely to struggle to find aggrieved stockholders. 

"It appears that this action was pre-planned by the board of Duke and smells badly of dishonesty in the board's dealings with stockholders and, apparently, your commission," Duke, and former Progress, stockholder Philip Carter of Raleigh wrote the N.C. Utilities Commission last week.

He added: "I strongly urge the Commission to use its authority to investigate whether there was disingenuous communications between Duke's leadership and the Commission, its stockholders and the public."


Anonymous said...

A bunch of lawyers looking for a money grab... Gee, now that's a surprise!!!

Anonymous said...

"With passions aflame now, law firms aren't likely to find aggrieved stockholders."

Shouldn't that be: "are likely to find..."?

Anonymous said...

Block & Leviton LLP
155 Federal Street, Suite 1303
Boston, MA 02110
t. (617) 398-5600
f. (617) 507-6020

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the law firm would find some clients in Raleigh.

Given the murky circumstances surrounding the merger, shareholder litigation is not only warranted but imperative.

Anonymous said...

When you think about it, these lawsuits are the only way a small investor can compete and be heard.

Sure, the lawywers will keep most of the money, but shareholders will get something.

Last one of these suits I was involved in, I got $1,000. You have to be a lead plaintiff to get much, though.