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Tesla hires Washington trial lawyer, Dane Butswinkas

By Sheetal Sukhija, Bangkok News
08 Dec 2018, 02:17 GMT+10

CALIFORNIA, U.S. - In a bid to help deal with a case involving the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the electric car maker, Tesla has revealed that it hired a new general counsel.

According to Tesla, it has hired the Washington, D.C. trial lawyer Dane Butswinkas, as its new general counsel.

Butswinkas, who is the chairman of the major Washington law firm Williams & Connolly, has reportedly been brought onboard to help Tesla deal with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission case that stemmed from the company's CEO Elon Musk's posts on Twitter in August.

Musk suggested in a tweet in early August that he had "funding secured" for a deal to take Tesla private.

The announcement by Musk caused the company's shares to soar dramatically.

However, weeks after making the announcement, Musk backed away from the plan, blaming the feedback from shareholders.

The announcement and the withdrawal triggered U.S. authorities to file a lawsuit against Musk for misleading investors.

Days after the lawsuit was filed, Musk and Tesla announced that they had reached a settlement, as part of which, both the CEO and the company were fined $20 million each.

As part of the settlement, Musk was also obliged to relinquish his role as chairman for three years and the Palo Alto, California-based company was instructed to install an independent chairman.

Later, Tesla named the Australian executive Robyn Denholm as its new chairman after the billionaire entrepreneur agreed to relinquish his role as board chair - a role he has held since 2004.

Now, Tesla has stated that Butswinkas would replace Todd Maron.

On Thursday, Butswinkas said in a statement, "Tesla presents a unique and inspiring opportunity. Tesla's mission is bigger than Tesla one that is critical to the future of our planet."

Maron has led Teslas legal department since 2013 and has previously served as Musks divorce lawyer.

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