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April 29, 2003

FRANCE: LVMH claims first round in Morgan Stanley case

The luxury goods and Champagne producer Louis Vuitton Moet-Hennessy (LVMH) has seemingly won the first round of its legal battle with the investment bank Morgan Stanley.

The luxury goods and Champagne producer Louis Vuitton Moet-Hennessy (LVMH) has seemingly won the first round of its legal battle with the investment bank Morgan Stanley.


A Paris court ruled yesterday that LVMH did not need to provide more evidence to support its allegations of biased research at the US bank. Morgan Stanley had requested LVMH be forced to produce any new evidence it had against the bank before it presented its defence


“This decision puts an end to delaying tactics by the bank and will finally allow the debate to go to the heart of the issue,” LVMH said yesterday.


So far the owner of the Moet Champagne brand and Hennessy Cognac house has given 41 pieces of evidence, which it claims prove bias in the work of Claire Kent, Morgan Stanley’s luxury goods analyst. LVMH argues that Kent’s work attacked LVMH to make Gucci, a Morgan Stanley client, look more attractive. LVMH is seeking US$100m in damages.


Morgan Stanley has dismissed the allegations as being “without merit”. It has launched a counter-suit against LVMH.

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