Bill Gross wins access to some Pimco records in bonus lawsuit

September 26, 2016 2:27 PM EDT

The offices of Pacific Investment Management Co (PIMCO) (L) are shown in Newport Beach, California August 4, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Blake

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By Jonathan Stempel and Jennifer Ablan

(Reuters) - Pacific Investment Management Co must turn over some records sought by its former star bond fund manager Bill Gross, who is pursuing a $200 million lawsuit claiming he was forced to resign so that his bonus could be divided among others.

In an order dated Monday, California Superior Court Justice Deborah Servino in Santa Ana granted part of Gross' request for documents, including details on Pimco's bonus pool, possible leaks to the press about internal dissension prior to Gross' departure, and succession plans.

Gross was also permitted to conduct depositions of several Pimco officials, including Dan Ivascyn, his successor as group chief investment officer.

But the judge said Gross was not entitled to all the materials he sought, calling some of his requests "impermissibly broad and unreasonable."

She urged both sides to avoid "gamesmanship," and to focus on preparing for a possible trial next Sept. 18.

Pimco has long maintained that Gross' lawsuit has no merit.

"As to the majority of Mr. Gross's requests, the court held that 'the far-reaching categories of documents sought here are impermissibly broad and unreasonable," its lawyer David Boies said in a statement. "We will promptly provide the additional discovery that the court held is appropriate."

Patricia Glaser, a lawyer for Gross, said she was "very pleased" with the decision.

Gross sued Newport Beach, California-based Pimco last October over his sudden September 2014 departure.

Pimco, a unit of German insurer Allianz SE, has said Gross' "egregious misconduct" would have given it good cause to terminate his employment, and that the lawsuit was part of his "sad obsession" to attack his former firm.

Gross now runs the $1.5 billion Janus Global Unconstrained Bond fund for Janus Capital Group Inc.

He had previously built Pimco Total Return into the world's largest bond fund, with $293 billion of assets. The fund is now less than one-third that size.

Gross is worth $2.4 billion, according to Forbes magazine, and has pledged to donate proceeds from his lawsuit to charity.

The case is Gross v. Pacific Investment Management Co et al, California Superior Court, Orange County, No. 2015-00813636.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel and Jennifer Ablan in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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William H. Gross, Pacific Investment Management Company, LLC (PIMCO), Janus Capital

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