June 19, 2024

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Tesla Taps Big Law to Grow Musk’s ‘Hardcore’ Litigation Team (1)

Tesla Taps Big Law to Grow Musk’s ‘Hardcore’ Litigation Team (1)

Tesla Inc.’s new common counsel, Brandon Ehrhart, joins the company as it continues to build the “hardcore litigation department” announced by Elon Musk very last year.

The Musk-led electric powered automaker, which just lately recruited Ehrhart to be its legal main, has included additional than a dozen in-house legal professionals inside the previous half-12 months. The hires include things like numerous litigators with knowledge at major legislation companies.

Musk mentioned in a Could tweet that he was building a litigation workforce to “initiate & execute lawsuits” and report immediately to him. Tesla has a robust litigation docket that retains exterior lawyers occupied on anything from work difficulties to deal, patent, and securities matters, in accordance to Bloomberg Legislation data.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan professional litigation associate Allison Huebert, who joined Tesla very last thirty day period as a handling counsel for litigation, is between the new recruits. The firm has been a go-to advocate for Musk, helping very clear him earlier this thirty day period in a lawsuit submitted over tweets he manufactured in 2018 about using Tesla personal.

Other noteworthy additions by Tesla inside the earlier calendar year involve deputy normal counsel for company and securities Derek Windham and previous Davis Polk & Wardwell litigator Adam Mehes, now an associate general counsel for litigation.

The Austin, Texas-primarily based business is now hunting to employ the service of for extra than a dozen authorized and federal government affairs roles, in accordance to an online work board. At least 4 of all those positions are relevant to litigation.

Ehrhart, Tesla’s new leading law firm, invested the earlier two decades doing work at satellite tv and telecommunications supplier Dish Community Corp.

He confirmed his new role in a assertion posted to his LinkedIn profile. Tesla, Dish, and Ehrhart did not answer to remark requests.

Revolving Door

Ehrhart is at minimum the sixth attorney in far more than a few yrs to keep the top legal job at Tesla. At Dish, Ehrhart was normal counsel for the company’s wi-fi business.

Musk and Dish co-founder Charlie Ergen have sparred in latest decades about their competing wi-fi visions. In switching to Tesla, Ehrhart is the company’s initial full-time typical counsel given that Jonathan Chang departed in December 2019.

The four lawyers to have served as Tesla’s prime in-household law firm given that that time—Alan Prescott, William Berry, David Searle, and Dinna Eskin—have both accomplished so on an acting or interim basis or not held the formal title of general counsel. Eskin briefly took on lawful chief duties final August after Searle still left the purpose.

In spite of the turnover, the pedigree of a organization like Tesla can help it draw in leading-tier authorized expertise, explained P.J. Harari, a husband or wife centered on in-home counsel recruitment at Big, Lindsey & Africa. “In tech in common, there will generally be selecting by firms that are producing or on the reducing-edge stuff of the long term,” she said.

Other legal professionals joining Tesla include things like employment litigation counsel Timothy Kim, who was hired in November from Hunton Andrews Kurth. Tesla additional handling counsel Patrick Matthews and senior counsel Daniel Abrahamson from Baker Botts and Munck Wilson Mandala, respectively, the identical thirty day period.

In Oct, Tesla introduced on senior litigation counsel Brittney Johnson from Burns Charest, a Dallas-primarily based organization, as nicely as senior counsel for oblique tax Tyler Winterton, a previous supervisor at Deloitte.

This thirty day period Tesla employed J. Taylor McConkie as a handling counsel for litigation in Washington, the place he most just lately was a senior litigation counsel for the US Customer Economical Protection Bureau. He earlier invested a dozen years at the Section of Justice following functioning at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.