Laidlaw & Company Ltd earlier in January 2016 were facing a lawsuit filed by Relmada Therapeutics for alleged breach of fiduciary duty. Laidlaw had allegedly contravened the non-disclosure agreement by disclosing Relmada’s financial information it had acquired in the exercise of its role as the complainant’s investment banker. Allegedly, Laidlaw’s principals Matthew Eitner and James Ahern had disseminated misleading proxy materials about Relmada which led to the latter’s substantial loss in both finances and reputation. Pursuant to the release of the proxy material, Relmada’s market value saw great depreciation from $4.03 a share to $1.65 a share. This loss coming at a time where the company had just made a great breakthrough in research for a chronic pain reliever with a multi-billion dollar potential heavily disrupted the investor confidence.
Laidlaw has had a lot of bad press in the recent past. For instance, there is no record of Ahern ever graduating from Assumption College as he claimed on his education history. In his three years of service, he has had four client complaints and federal tax liens served against him. Laidlaw itself has had approximately 60 client complaints, ranging from distribution of misleading communications to members of the public to failure to establish adequate policies in compliance with anti-money laundering laws; all this in just a period of two years from 2007-2009.
Public confidence is close to none when it comes to Laidlaw. In one of the online public forums, a poster declared that he would not even consider investing ‘a ball of lint’ with the company. Others have also mentioned that the company has been incessantly calling them trying to sell them junk or to get them to give them their spouses’ phone numbers. The high rate of employee turnover is very possibly also indicative of a poor working environment. For a company whose reputation score is almost down to the negative, I wouldn’t lose sleep over not wanting to engage with it on any level.