Bloomberg Law
Free Newsletter Sign Up
Bloomberg Law
Advanced Search Go
Free Newsletter Sign Up

Elon Musk Switches Lawyers While Facing SEC Contempt Motion

March 1, 2019, 12:06 AM

Elon Musk, who faces an SEC request that a judge find him in contempt of court for his tweets, seems to be switching legal horses in midstream.

Lawyers with the Los Angeles law firm Hueston Hennigan LLP will take over from Williams & Connolly, the white-shoe Washington firm that had been representing the Tesla Inc. CEO in the SEC’s case, lawyers from both firms said in a court filing Thursday.

The Hueston Hennigan team, led by former Enron prosecutor John C. Hueston, will have to meet a March 11 deadline to file papers opposing the SEC request. A ruling finding Musk in contempt could result in fines, social media restrictions and even possible removal from the chief executive chair for Musk.

The lawyers didn’t say why the change is being made. Steven Farina from Williams & Connolly told the court that Musk agreed to the change and said it “should cause no delay in the proceedings.“

Dane Butswinkas, Tesla’s general counsel who represented Musk in his fight with the SEC, quit the automaker last week and said he was going back to Williams & Connolly.

The case is United States Securities and Exchange Commission v. Musk, S.D.N.Y., No. 1:18-cv-08865.

—With assistance from Dana Hull.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Van Voris in federal court in Manhattan at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at Joe Schneider