DoubleLine Capital LP, the L.A. bond firm started by star fund manager Jeffrey Gundlach, has won the latest battle in a bitter war against TCW Group Inc.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Carl West has thrown out two of the claims in a lawsuit filed by TCW against a mutual-fund trust subsidiary of DoubleLine and denied TCW’s attempt to have the trust temporarily closed. TCW last month sued the trust and its trustees for allegedly misappropriating trade secrets after Gundlach was fired from TCW in December 2009.
“There are insufficient factual allegations that the trust … ever possessed, disclosed or used TCW’s alleged trade secrets,” West wrote in the Thursday ruling.
The judge preliminarily dismissed five other claims related to unfair competition, but he allowed TCW to amend those complaints.
Gundlach, a well-known figure in the fixed-income investing world, had overseen $65 billion of assets at TCW, but was fired after TCW said it discovered he was planning to leave and start a rival firm. Within weeks, Gundlach launched DoubleLine with the backing of L.A.’s Oaktree Capital Management.
This ruling is far from the end for the two sparring sides. TCW is still pursuing a related lawsuit filed last January seeking $200 million in damages from Gundlach and his firm. That case is scheduled to go to trial in July.
Additionally, Gundlach filed a lawsuit in February against TCW claiming it conspired to withhold $1.25 billion in bonuses owed to him and other former TCW employees.
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