Factbox-Spotlight shines on battling lawyers in Twitter-Elon Musk dispute

FILE PHOTO: Elon Musk's twitter account is seen on a smartphone in front of the Twitter logo in this photo illustration taken, April 15, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

(Reuters) - A Delaware judge on Tuesday set an October trial for Elon Musk's dispute with Twitter Inc over his $44 billion acquisition which the billionaire is trying to scuttle.

Here is a look at some of the key lawyers on both sides as the case heats up in Delaware's specialized Court of Chancery.


Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Twitter lawyer William Savitt co-chairs the litigation department at elite Wall Street law firm Wachtell, focusing on disputes in Delaware and elsewhere over mergers and acquisitions, proxy contests and other corporate dust-ups.

Wachtell was earlier part of a team that represented Musk and Tesla Inc's board in a lawsuit brought by Tesla shareholders over the electric vehicle maker's $2.6 billion acquisition of solar panel maker SolarCity. Court documents show Musk's Wachtell lawyers left the litigation in 2019. Wachtell was also among the legal advisers on Musk’s plan to take Tesla private in 2018.

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Brad Sorrels of the Silicon Valley-founded Wilson Sonsini firm specializes in litigation over soured corporate deals, with a client list that has included Palantir Technologies Inc, Mattel Inc, Stitch Fix Inc and Roku Inc.

Like Wachtell, Wilson Sonsini is no stranger to Musk and Tesla. The firm worked on the carmaker's 2010 initial public offering and has often represented the company in court.


Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan

Alex Spiro, a white-collar defense lawyer at Quinn Emanuel, represented Musk in his recent bid to undo a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission settlement over tweets about potentially taking his automotive company private. He also successfully defended Musk in a defamation trial over the tech mogul’s 2018 tweet referring to a British caver who helped rescue a Thai soccer team as “a pedo guy.”

Spiro has represented several celebrity clients including Jay-Z, Bobby Shmurda and Kendall Jenner.

Musk is also represented by Quinn Emanuel partner Andrew Rossman, a leader of the firm’s New York office who has experience handling merger cases in Delaware.

Skadden, Arps

Michael Ringler, an adviser on corporate deals with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, represented Musk as he crafted his agreement to purchase Twitter.

Musk has also turned in the Twitter lawsuit to Skadden partner Edward Micheletti, a Delaware Chancery Court veteran with a client list that has included Activision Blizzard Inc, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co .

(Reporting by Jacqueline Thomsen in Washington and Sara Merken in New York; Editing by David Bario and Matthew Lewis)

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