The gloves are finally coming off at Tory Burch.
The designer is fighting back against the lawsuit her ex-husband and ex-business partner filed against her three weeks ago, which alleged breach of contract and tortious interference (among other things). And, needless to say, shit is getting personal.
According to WWD, Tory Burch’s lawyer Marc Wolinsky of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz filed a motion yesterday to extend the deadline by which a response to Chris’ suit must be filed. Meanwhile, Chris Burch filed his own motion to expedite the proceedings. We guess nothing in the suit–not even such relatively trivial matters as dates–will be saved from the duo’s acrimony.
Tory’s lawyer is asking for an additional eight days to prepare their answers and counterclaims to the suit, requesting a new deadline of November 1. When they do file, they plan to include some of their own claims against Chris and his company, including unfair competition, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and a violation of intellectual property (or, in other words, the suspicious brand similarities between Tory Burch and Chris Burch’s C.Wonder).
However, Chris’ lawyer Andrew Rossman, of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, is pushing for an October 25 deadline. If their motion is granted, proceedings would begin on Chris’ claims–and Tory’s counterclaims would be left in the dust, to be dealt with later.
Both parties were more than happy to speak on their opponents–and neither minced words.
“This guy ripped off Tory Burch,” Tory’s lawyer Wolinsky said. “His product looks like our product, his stores look like our stores.”
“In his complaint, Christopher Burch said he’s being hurt because the company is standing in the way of me selling my shares to a potential investor,” Wolinsky continued. “The answer is, we are not standing in the way. His conduct is standing in the way…he is driven by jealousy and animosity.”
Chris’ lawyer Andrew Rossman fired back that his client didn’t want to file a lawsuit against Tory but “when it became clear to Chris that there was no satisfying the demands of Tory Burch and the Tory Burch company, he had to ask the court what his rights are here.”
He said Chris has “done a lot to appease Tory and the company,” including changing the interiors of some of his stores.
Tory’s lawyer was not convinced. “He has not changed his three stores in any significant way,” Wolinksy claimed. “I think in his SoHo store, he took out a rug.”
Both parties can at least agree on one thing: They want this mess over as soon as possible, and are hoping for a court date as early as February. Stay tuned.