Nadia Cavner alleges Lawing Financial defamed her to avoid payments owed.
Cavner countersues Lawing Financial
Former prominent financial adviser Nadia Cavner now is fighting back against the Overland Park, Kan.-based financial firm that bought her company last year and took her to court this spring.
In a civil countersuit filed Aug. 5, Cavner said Lawing Financial Inc. has no grounds to claim she overvalued her company or interfered with Lawing Financial’s business operations by assisting former clients after she lost her ability to sell securities last year.
“Filled with impertinent, scandalous and baseless ‘facts,’ the underlying complaint is a maliciously ginned-up narrative which Lawing publicly filed to defame, humiliate and discredit Cavner,” the filing states.
Lawing Financial’s breach of contract suit on April 15 asks the court to return the $1 million already paid toward the 2014 purchase of Nadia Cavner Group and to free the firm from its additional $2 million debt owed. The $3 million deal scheduled payments to Cavner for the next four years.
“Seeking to shirk the first payment obligation and all others, Lawing and [CEO] Kerry Lawing instituted this litigation and have engaged in a malicious, defamatory media campaign against Cavner,” her countersuit claims.
According to the purchase agreement, Lawing Financial was scheduled to make a $250,000 installment at midyear.
Lawing Financial’s suit alleges Cavner violated the acquisition terms by continuing to advise her former clients during a transitional period and telling them at times to disregard Lawing Financial’s recommendations. The company is asking the court to draw the lines regarding contact with its clients. It also claims she opened an office across from the former Cavner Group space, had a former employee connect her with confidential client information and has harassed its advisers and staff.
A key financial claim, the company alleges Cavner intentionally overvalued her firm, listing the managed assets at $400 million – a misrepresentation of her book of business to the tune of $160 million, the suit says.
In the countersuit, Cavner is asking for at least $500,000 from the company for her consulting work and at least $75,000 in damages, plus attorneys’ fees. She also wants Lawing Financial to make good on the final $2 million owed her.
In her filing, Cavner denied all allegations she was improperly engaged in business practices prohibited by law.