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Morgan Stanley Files $1 Billion Lawsuit Against Three “Break-Away” Advisors Who Started their Own Firm


According to reporting from City Wire, Morgan Stanley has filed a $1 billion lawsuit against three “break-away” financial advisors who purportedly left the broker-dealer to start their own firm. In this article, our Miami commercial litigation lawyer provides an overview of the case and highlights key things to know about the standard of liability and damages in contract disputes.

The Case: Lawsuit Filed Over Alleged Breach of Contract 

Morgan Stanley has lodged a legal complaint against three former financial advisors: Trent Leyda, Kay Campione, and James Beindorf. These three individuals recently left the  large financial services company to launch their own investment advisory firm (SpirePoint Private Client). In a lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Morgan Stanley alleges that the trio breached their employment contracts by misusing confidential information to attract clients to their new firm. Morgan Stanley is seeking a temporary restraining order and eye-popping $1 billion in damages. The claim is currently pending and no findings have been made.

What Constitutes a Breach of Contract? 

A breach of contract is one of the most common causes of action raised in commercial litigation. It occurs when a party (allegedly) fails to fulfill their obligations as outlined in the. It can happen in a wide range of different situations. In Florida, a breach of contract has to be deemed “material” in order to justify a claim. Broadly explained, a material breach is one that fundamentally undermines the contract’s purpose. Of course, what constitutes a breach of contract in any specific case depends on many factors, including the specific language of the agreement and the conduct of the parties.

 Understanding Damages in Breach of Contract Cases in Florida

 In Florida, when a breach of contract occurs, the non-breaching party may seek damages. With some narrow exceptions. The remedy for a breach of contract claim is monetary compensation. How much compensation can the non-breaching party recover through a breach of contract lawsuit in Florida? The answer is entirely dependent on the specific situation. For example, in the Morgan Stanley and SpirePoint Private Client is a case with an alleged $1 billion in damages at stake. To claim that amount in damages, the plaintiff (Morgan Stanley) would be required to prove not just that a breach of contract occurred but also that the resulting cost was $1 billion. Evidence is key to support any claim for contract breach damages.

 Call Our Florida Contract Litigation Attorney Today

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our Florida commercial litigation lawyers have the skills, experience, and business law expertise to help our clients find the most effective solutions. If you are locked in any type of partnership dispute, we are here to help. Contact us now for a consultation. With an office in Miami and another office in West Palm Beach, we serve communities throughout Southeast Florida, including in Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and Jupiter.



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