Can corporate counsel represent the company and its employee at the same time? Former Allianz Manager says firm and its lawyers double crossed him

A former Allianz SE fund manager who was accused of investment adviser fraud, has accused federal prosecutors of committing ethical breaches by turning his own lawyers against him. Gregoire Tournant, who was a chief investment officer for an Allianz U.S. investing divisions, says that prosecutors encourages lawyers acting for both the firm and for him personally to switch sides and use his private communications with them to build a false case against him. His arguments are set out in a motion filed by Mr. Tournant in the New York federal court and which raise thorny issues and questions which come up frequently in situations where outside counsel represent companies and their employees simultaneously. The issues often effect unknowing employees who speak freely to their counsel on the assumption that the conversations are protected and privileged because of the attorney client relationship.

Last year, investment adviser fraud charges were brought against Mr. Tournant and he plead not guilty and was arrested in May. Around that time, Allianz agreed to pay about $6 billion in penalties and admitted having deficient internal controls. The issues as described by Mr Tournant related to an arrangement under which lawyers for Allianz allegedly agreed to represent both Allianz and Mr Tournant.

His present lawyers said that Mr. Tournant’s former counsel sided with the company.

Mr. Tournant has asked the Judge to dismiss the claims against him. No decision has been made by the court at this time.

Jeffrey Newman is a whistleblower lawyer and he can be reached at 617-823-3217 or at