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Confrontation escalates in swimsuit in opposition to

An legal professional for’s former second-in-command suing the lender slammed assaults Friday from opposing counsel and sources in a media report, whereas claiming the lender is in dire monetary straits. 

Lawyer Neal Brickman defended Higher ex-head of gross sales Sarah Pierce after attorneys for Higher, CEO Vishal Garg and Normal Counsel Nicholas Calamari requested a federal decide Thursday in separate letters to dismiss Pierce’s whistleblower swimsuit. Her swimsuit accuses Garg and the corporate of deceptive traders concerning the lender’s monetary efficiency, botching the agency’s first mass layoff and retaliating in opposition to her for elevating issues.

Counsel for Higher and attorneys representing each Garg and Calamari allege Pierce’s criticism didn’t meet required authorized requirements and painted it as an try to extract extra money from the corporate after her alleged firing in February.

“However the corporate’s generosity and good will in direction of Plaintiff, she swiftly deserted the corporate at one in all its most crucial occasions for private good points,” wrote Steven Perlstein of New York-based Kobre & Kim on behalf of Garg and Calamari.

Brickman instructed Nationwide Mortgage Information Friday afternoon he’s assured U.S. District Courtroom Choose Analisa Torres will permit Pierce’s criticism to stay within the Southern District of New York U.S. District Courtroom.

“If the information as they really occurred come out, it presents a really, very dangerous image for Mr. Garg and Higher,” he mentioned.

Brickman additionally criticized allegations in a narrative printed Friday within the New York Put up, which reported on Pierce’s alleged conduct in Slack messages shared by nameless former workers. Pierce routinely ignored questions and bragged about not working, the Put up reported, and appeared to have mentally checked out following Garg’s Zoom firing in December. 

Pierce joined Higher in 2016 as a salesman and shortly rose the ranks to go of gross sales and operations, incomes a $1 million wage with a bonus of one other $1 million, either side confirmed in authorized filings. Brickman referred to as the allegations of Pierce’s missing efficiency “rubbish” and cited her promotions and efficiency bonus award, amongst different inside recognitions.

“Ms. Pierce was not a malingerer,” Brickman mentioned in a separate emailed assertion. “This tried character assassination is the results of Ms. Pierce’s having the braveness to talk fact to energy.”

Brickman additionally mentioned SoftBank, Higher’s backer, has been in touch with him concerning the lawsuit and has severe issues about Garg’s conduct and Higher’s monetary disclosures. Higher is allegedly “dangerously shut” to dipping under the money reserve stage required by its warehouse line of credit score to fund mortgages and has a money burn charge of $40 million a month, Brickman mentioned, claiming the data got here from a “supply with shut data.”

“It’s actually not my space of experience,” he mentioned. “However I’d be shocked if this SPAC transaction ever happens.”

Higher’s anticipated merger with particular function acquisition firm Aurora Acquisition Corp. to go public was introduced final Might, and the corporate’s final Securities and Change Fee submitting was posted two months in the past. Aurora Acquisition Corp. had no remark Friday, whereas SoftBank and Higher didn’t return requests for remark Friday afternoon. 

The disagreement comes someday after Higher’s announcement of eight management hires, a uncommon public assertion by the corporate after months of headlines of mass layoffs and huge monetary losses.

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