Billionaire financier Ron Perelman and his longtime former business partner and one-time best friend Donald Drapkin have kissed and made up, at least in the legal sense, weeks after going to trial.
A federal jury awarded $16 million to corporate dealmaker Drapkin on January 27 in a contract dispute with Perelman's company. Their lawyers negotiated a settlement of all litigation between them following the verdict at a four-day trial.
An order by U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe that was made public on Thursday said the parties agree that there was a substantive error in the judgment and that the judgment should be vacated.
No details of the settlements were provided in the court order or by representatives of the two men.
Perelman and Drapkin are among New York's biggest deal-makers. They collaborated in deals involving Marvel comics, banks, television stations, Revlon Inc and others in a 20-year-long business association and friendship.
Drapkin, 63, testified at the trial in Manhattan federal court but Perelman, 69, did not. Drapkin initially sued Perelman's holding company MacAndrews & Forbes for unpaid compensation in 2009 and Perelman counter-sued, claiming Drapkin breached his contract.
The jury decided that Drapkin did not improperly keep confidential company documents on a laptop belonging to his personal assistant after Drapkin left the company to join a rival firm, Lazard investment bank, in 2007. The six jurors, who included a nurse, a political science professor and an unemployed secretary, also ruled that Drapkin did not attempt to poach a star employee from the company as alleged by Perelman.
One of Drapkin's lawyers, David Dunn, said on Thursday that the agreement to settle all litigation was negotiated by their respective lawyers. Dunn declined to comment on whether Perelman and Drapkin were personally involved.
Mr. Drapkin is very happy that all matters between the parties have been resolved on terms that we understand to be satisfactory to both of them and it won't be necessary to litigate anymore, Dunn said.
Christine Taylor, a spokeswoman for MacAndrews & Forbes, declined to comment.
Perelman, whose net worth was estimated by Forbes in September 2011 to be more than $12 billion, had a falling out with Drapkin after Drapkin left the holding company, and at least one attempt to settle the lawsuits previously failed.
The case is MacAndrews & Forbes LLC v. Drapkin in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 09-04513.
(Reporting By Grant McCool; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)