Risk Update

Risk News — Lawyer Insider Trading Update, Disqualification Denied

Ex-Hunton Partner Agrees to 3-Year Suspension After Insider Trading Conviction” —

  • “Robert Schulman, a former Washington, D.C., intellectual property litigation partner at Hunton & Williams and Arent Fox, has agreed to a three-year suspension from the D.C. bar following his 2017 insider trading conviction.”
  • “Schulman was convicted by a New York federal jury on securities fraud and conspiracy charges for tipping off an investment adviser about Pfizer Inc.’s $3.6 billion acquisition of King Pharmaceuticals Inc. in 2010. A partner at Hunton & Williams at the time, Schulman was privy to information about the merger several months before it was publicly announced.”
  • “Schulman argued at trial that he didn’t intentionally inform Klein about the deal, and told The American Lawyer that he was ignorant about the trades Klein made on his behalf.”
    “He received three years’ probation, a $50,000 fine and 2,000 hours of community service. In January 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejected his appeal.”

Judge Denies Cooley’s Bid to DQ King & Spalding in WhatsApp Case” —

  • “King & Spalding can continue to defend a surveillance technology firm accused of deploying malware targeted at WhatsApp Inc. users after a federal judge blocked the Facebook subsidiary’s attempt to boot the firm from the case.”
  • “Three of the four King & Spalding lawyers who represented WhatsApp in the sealed matter, including current FBI Director Christopher Wray, are no longer with the firm. But Hamilton said she didn’t need to delve into whether the lone remaining attorney, Paul Mezzina, gained knowledge of confidential information if the cases were not related.”
  • “Hamilton noted the difficulty of comparing the two cases given that one of the matters is entirely under seal and both are mired in technical coding language. Yet, her analysis found that WhatsApp ‘has not demonstrated that the two matters are substantially related and absent such a relationship, there is no presumption that K&S acquired material confidential information.'”
  • “The judge also found that WhatsApp has not demonstrated that any King & Spalding attorney has access to confidential information, since the firm’s general counsel and his staff stores and blocks access to the relevant files.”