Giving a boost to a major lawsuit arising from the Wall Street insider stock trading scandal, a federal judge yesterday denied motions to dismiss civil fraud charges against a prominent New York law firm and a well-known investment banking house, among others.

U.S. District Judge Milton Pollack ruled that a suit filed by investors in a partnership organized by former stock speculator Ivan F. Boesky had made legally proper fraud allegations against eight separate defendants, including the law firm of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson and the investment banking firm of Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc.

The judge's ruling did not address the merits of the investors' charges, but it may permit the investors' lawyers to proceed soon with some factual discovery in the case, including taking testimony and reviewing documents.

The lawsuit has been closely followed because some of its subject matter overlaps with continuing federal grand jury investigations stemming from Boesky's guilty plea in April.

Last November, Boesky paid a record $100 million to settle civil insider trading charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In the civil suit pending before Pollack, investors in a partnership formed by Boesky in early 1986 accuse Boesky, his attorneys, accountants, and investment bankers of fraudulently raising about $338 million from the investors while aware that Boesky was engaged in wrongdoing.

Boesky also raised $660 million through two bond offerings, but full settlement payments have already been made to investors in those bonds.

"Just what part each of the moving defendants played in the overall financing and funding of the partnership ... will best be determined after the facts have been developed," Pollack wrote. "Each defendant is alleged to have played a material part in the accomplishment of the mass of violations charged. Exactly what that part was will have to be determined after the facts are all revealed."

George Reycraft, an attorney for the investors, said he was pleased with Pollack's decision and intended to issue document requests to the defendants soon. "He did what we thought he should have done," Reycraft said of Pollack's opinion.

George Wailand, who represents Drexel in the suit, said: "What the judge held is that what we regarded as deficiencies {in the investors' charges} were the subject of factual dispute and should more properly be determined after some controlled discovery." Wailand said there was a "reasonable likelihood" that Drexel and other defendants would move again to dismiss the charges against them before the case moves to trial.

When discovery begins in the Boesky lawsuit, federal investigators with whom Boesky is cooperating will have to decide whether to try to get the case postponed pending the outcome of their probes.

The government sought and received such a postponement in a similar lawsuit filed in Chicago federal court. That suit has since been dismissed.