FACEBOOK has launched a lawsuit in New York claiming that law firm DLA Piper, along with a number of other firms, conspired to file a “fraudulent lawsuit” based on “fabricated evidence”
DLA Piper, along with US firms Milberg, Paul Argentieri & Associates and Lippes Mathias Wesler Friedman variously represented internet entrepreneur Paul Ceglia in 2010. DLA Piper began advising Mr Ceglia in 2010. He claimed he had been promised a stake in Facebook on the basis of a 2003 contract, which was later indicted as a fraudulent document. Facebook is now alleging that DLA Piper, which later withdrew from the case, “publicly staked its reputation on the veracity of Ceglia’s allegations”.
Peter Pantaleo, the general counsel of DLA Piper LLP (US), said: “This is an entirely baseless lawsuit...DLA Piper, which was not part of this case at its outset or its conclusion, was involved for 78 days. Facebook and Mr (Mark) Zuckerberg claim that they were damaged in those 78 days, yet a mere 10 months after DLA Piper withdrew from the case, and while the litigation was still pending, Facebook went to market with an initial public offering that valued the company at $100bn.
“Today, Facebook is worth $200bn and Mr Zuckerberg is among the richest people in the world.
“We will defend this meritless litigation aggressively and we will prevail.”
A Facebook spokesman said yesterday: “As this is an ongoing legal case, we cannot comment.”