Agreement settles lawsuit by CBI against company’s founder, ex-chairman
J.M. “Jim” Bernhard Jr., founder and former chairman of The Shaw Group Inc., and several of his business associates have agreed not to use the Shaw name in two new venture capital businesses.
The agreement is attached to a consent judgment and permanent injunction that Chief U.S. District Judge Brian A. Jackson signed late Tuesday in Baton Rouge at both sides’ request. Jackson noted in that judgment that he will “retain jurisdiction to oversee and enforce … all obligations in the compromise between the parties.”
Chicago Bridge and Iron Co. NV purchased The Shaw Group and 194 subsidiaries in February for $3 billion in cash and equity.
But Bernhard and four associates — Baton Rouge residents Jeff Jenkins, John Donofrio and George Bevan, along with Lafayette resident Russell Brown — formed Shaw Capital LLC and Shaw Capital LP in Delaware a month earlier.
In June, The Shaw Group sued Bernhard’s group, complaining that the name of one of their new venture capital firms was identical to a Shaw subsidiary. The parent corporation also noted that the other Bernhard firm bore a name nearly identical to another existing Shaw subsidiary.
The new member of the Chicago Bridge and Iron family of companies alleged in the suit that Bernhard and his associates were attempting to “misappropriate and take advantage of the enormous recognition and value of the Shaw” name.
Gonzales attorney Erin Wiley Lanoux signed the consent permanent injunction on behalf of Bernhard, Jenkins, Donofrio, Bevan, Brown and their two companies.
New Orleans attorney Christopher E. Moore signed the document on behalf of The Shaw Group.
By Aug. 28, the permanent injunction requires Bernhard’s group to “discontinue any and all use whatsoever of the Shaw name and mark as a trade name and/or trademark.”
Bernhard’s group also is banned after Aug. 28 from use of the names Shaw Capital LLC, Shaw Capital LP and a third firm, Shaw Capital Partners. And the group is ordered to disable an existing website that features the Shaw name.
By Sept. 12, Bernhard and his associates must provide The Shaw Group with affidavits showing that all promotional materials, packages, signs, labels, advertisements and catalogs that bear the Shaw name have been destroyed.
In return, The Shaw Group agreed that Bernhard and any of his associates who formerly worked for Shaw may list their past duties and accomplishments on behalf of Shaw on promotional materials for their new firm or firms.
Both sides agreed to pay their own court costs and attorney fees, and Jackson dismissed the civil suit.