Morgan Stanley Shareholders Threaten Further Legal Action

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Byline: Jeremy Adams in New York

Richard Albrecht, the Morgan Stanley shareholder who has accused the bulge-bracket bank of illegal conduct in managing IPOs during the technology boom, warned last week that he will continue his fight.

Albrecht is considering his next step after he dropped an initial complaint made against Morgan Stanley's management team, including Philip Purcell, the chief executive.

The claim was dropped in the same week that Credit Suisse First Boston reportedly tried to broker a deal that would end the investigation into its own IPO practices.

Albrecht's complaint referred to Marimba, Ariba and Avici, three US technology companies that floated in 2000.

Morgan Stanley was jubilant last week as it announced that judge Laura Taylor Swain entered an order dismissing Albrecht's derivative IPO lawsuit.

The bank rushed out a statement from Donald Kempf, chief legal officer, saying: "It is gratifying to see that these well-publicised IPO-related suits continue to fall by the wayside."

But Mark Gardy of Abbey Gardy, one of two law firms representing Albrecht, argues that the case had not been dismissed by a judge and says it could reappear.

Gardy says: "We entered into an agreement to withdraw the complaint. The judge didn't order it. Our client has decided to wait until the outcome of other anti-trust and securities cases becomes more clear. It is now a case of: 'Let's wait and see'."

What Albrecht wants to "wait and see" is whether the hoards of equity investors and issuers bringing cases against Morgan Stanley and its competitors are successful. …