Tesla Taps Big Law to Grow Musk’s ‘Hardcore’ Litigation Team (1)
Tesla Inc.’s new typical counsel, Brandon Ehrhart, joins the company as it carries on to make the “hardcore litigation department” declared by Elon Musk last calendar year.
The Musk-led electric automaker, which a short while ago recruited Ehrhart to be its lawful chief, has additional a lot more than a dozen in-house lawyers within the past half-calendar year. The hires incorporate many litigators with expertise at major law corporations.
Musk said in a May well tweet that he was creating a litigation team to “initiate & execute lawsuits” and report instantly to him. Tesla has a sturdy litigation docket that keeps outside lawyers hectic on everything from work problems to agreement, patent, and securities issues, in accordance to Bloomberg Regulation details.
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan industrial litigation affiliate Allison Huebert, who joined Tesla very last thirty day period as a controlling counsel for litigation, is among the the new recruits. The agency has been a go-to advocate for Musk, assisting very clear him previously this thirty day period in a lawsuit submitted in excess of tweets he produced in 2018 about taking Tesla private.
Other notable additions by Tesla inside the earlier calendar year incorporate deputy standard counsel for corporate and securities Derek Windham and previous Davis Polk & Wardwell litigator Adam Mehes, now an associate general counsel for litigation.
The Austin, Texas-based company is at present on the lookout to hire for extra than a dozen authorized and federal government affairs roles, in accordance to an on the net employment board. At the very least 4 of all those positions are relevant to litigation.
Ehrhart, Tesla’s new leading law firm, expended the previous two a long time working at satellite television and telecommunications service provider Dish Network Corp.
He confirmed his new part in a assertion posted to his LinkedIn profile. Tesla, Dish, and Ehrhart did not reply to remark requests.
Ehrhart is at minimum the sixth attorney in extra than three decades to hold the leading authorized career at Tesla. At Dish, Ehrhart was standard counsel for the company’s wireless business.
Musk and Dish co-founder Charlie Ergen have sparred in recent yrs over their competing wi-fi visions. In switching to Tesla, Ehrhart is the company’s to start with complete-time common counsel because Jonathan Chang departed in December 2019.
The four attorneys to have served as Tesla’s top in-house law firm since that time—Alan Prescott, William Berry, David Searle, and Dinna Eskin—have both finished so on an performing or interim foundation or not held the formal title of general counsel. Eskin briefly took on legal chief duties final August following Searle left the function.
Inspite of the turnover, the pedigree of a enterprise like Tesla helps it catch the attention of best-tier legal talent, reported P.J. Harari, a partner centered on in-home counsel recruitment at Significant, Lindsey & Africa. “In tech in standard, there will always be selecting by companies that are building or on the slicing-edge stuff of the future,” she reported.
Other legal professionals becoming a member of Tesla involve employment litigation counsel Timothy Kim, who was hired in November from Hunton Andrews Kurth. Tesla extra running counsel Patrick Matthews and senior counsel Daniel Abrahamson from Baker Botts and Munck Wilson Mandala, respectively, the very same month.
In October, Tesla brought on senior litigation counsel Brittney Johnson from Burns Charest, a Dallas-primarily based organization, as effectively as senior counsel for indirect tax Tyler Winterton, a former manager at Deloitte.
This month Tesla employed J. Taylor McConkie as a controlling counsel for litigation in Washington, in which he most lately was a senior litigation counsel for the US Purchaser Financial Protection Bureau. He earlier invested a dozen decades at the Office of Justice immediately after functioning at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.