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Peter Nygard’s lawyer withdraws from case, cites ‘fundamental breakdown’ of relationship

The lawyer representing former fashion mogul Peter Nygard has withdrawn his representation in both Manitoba and Ontario citing a fundamental breakdown of their relationship.

Toronto-based lawyer Brian Greenspan applied to be withdrawn from Nygard’s Winnipeg criminal trial on Friday and the Toronto criminal case on Wednesday.

An affidavit filed in the provincial court in Winnipeg by Seth Weinstein – a partner at Greenspan’s law firm – states issues have arisen.

“There has been a fundamental breakdown of the solicitor-client relationship which requires him to be removed from the record,” the affidavit reads.

The document also noted Greenspan, “would be in breach of his professional obligations were he not to bring this application.”

The affidavit states more details can’t be shared as it would breach the lawyer-client privilege but notes it is not related to the “non-payment of legal fees.”

Greenspan was representing Nygard while he faced one count of forcible confinement and one count of sexual assault in Manitoba’s provincial court.

The charges have not been tested in court.

Greenspan appeared in a Toronto courtroom Wednesday, ahead of a sentencing after Nygard was found guilty of four counts of sexual assault in November. The charges date back to allegations made from the 1980s until the mid-2000s.

Greenspan told court Wednesday that his relationship with Nygard has become “adversarial.”

Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Goldstein approved Greenspan’s application and removed him from the record immediately.

Nygard has been instructed that he will need to find new counsel and until then he will be representing himself.

Nygard’s next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 30, in Ontario.

Nygard is also facing charges in Quebec and in the United States. The trial in Quebec is expected to start in June. None of the charges in those cases have been tested in court.

– With files from CTV’s Abby O’Brien and The Canadian Press

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