Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk leaves a courtroom in San Francisco, California, U.S., Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023.

Marina Sloss | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Lawyers for Elon Musk this week filed a lawsuit against the law firm that represented Twitter when Musk tried to take it private last year, claiming the company overcharged for its work.

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen and Katz (Musk belonged to Twitter prior to the acquisition) paid $90 million in legal fees “at the last minute,” the lawsuit says.

Wachtell represented Twitter after Musk rejected an initial proposal to take Twitter private for $44 billion. The law firm helped close the deal in November 2022 and was paid $90 million for its work securing the deal, which was quoted far above Twitter’s public market valuation.

X Corp., Twitter’s holding company, is seeking reimbursement for “any related excess costs” as well as attorneys’ fees related to litigation costs. Musk’s firm is represented by Reid Collins & Tsai, an Austin, Texas-based litigation boutique.

Attorneys for Reid Collins and Wachtell did not respond to requests for comment.

This isn’t the first time Musk has tried to prevent Twitter’s suppliers from getting paid. After Musk took over Twitter and saddled it with $13 billion in debt, the company has been sued at least 26 times for non-payment by suppliers, according to Plainsite, an online database of legal records.company stop paying rent According to reports, at its San Francisco headquarters reject to pay Google Use its cloud infrastructure.

The latest lawsuit targets a leading U.S. law firm. Wachtell, who has represented dozens of companies and investors in similar deals, approached Twitter in June 2022 for representation.

“We are very interested in preparing for the possibility that Musk may renege on his contract on behalf of Twitter,” Wachtell partner Ben Roth wrote in an email to Twitter executives. Twitter’s former general counsel and former finance executive are among the executives involved in working with Wachtell.

Musk’s attempt to exit the Twitter deal was highly unusual and ultimately unsuccessful. He claimed after agreeing to the deal that the company failed to adequately disclose the amount of spam and fake accounts on the platform. Twitter sued Musk for failing to fulfill a promise to the company’s shareholders, and Musk eventually relented and bought Twitter for an agreed-upon price.

The action was conducted in the Delaware Chancery Court, which has a structure appropriate for corporate litigation. Part of Wachtell’s pitch to Twitter was its complexities in Delaware courts.

The case is X Corp v. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, in California Superior Court (San Francisco County), Case No. CGC-23-607461.

— CNBC’s Lora Kolodny contributed to this report

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