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Ye’s Gap Contract Lawyers Drop Him After Antisemitic Remarks (1)

Oct. 26, 2022, 4:32 PMUpdated: Oct. 26, 2022, 6:51 PM

Manhattan law firm Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft has parted ways with Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, in the wake of recent antisemitic remarks by the rapper and designer.

“We are not presently providing any representation and have no intention of providing any future representation,” a Cadwalader spokesman said via email Wednesday.

Nicholas Gravante, a leader of the firm’s litigation group, and several other Cadwalader attorneys represented Ye last month in his move to terminate his partnership with Gap Inc. The lawyers sent a letter to Gap saying the retailer failed to release apparel and open stores, as stipulated in a contract, Bloomberg News reported.

Major brands such as Adidas and Kering SA fashion label Balenciaga have over the past week severed ties with Ye, who earlier this month tweeted that he wants to go “death con 3 on Jewish people.” Twitter suspended his account following the remark.

Ye also caused an uproar after wearing a shirt with the slogan, “White Lives Matter,” during Paris fashion week.

Law firm Brown Rudnick, which represented Johnny Depp in a high-profile defamation trial this year, is also no longer working for Ye, the firm confirmed Wednesday, as first reported by the New York Post.

Attorneys from Quinn Emanuel and Stradley Ronon also worked for West on the Gap partnership, Gravante said in a September Linkedin post. The two firms didn’t immediately return requests for comment.

Quinn Emanuel attorneys, including chairman John Quinn, have represented Ye in past litigation.

The firm in 2019 filed a lawsuit on the musician’s behalf claiming that a 2004 contract with music publisher EMI violated California law. Ye later that year dropped Quinn Emanuel as counsel in the dispute, which ended in a settlement.

(Adds info on law firm Brown Rudnick dropping Ye as a client, as well as background Quinn Emanuel and Stradley Ronon. )

To contact the reporter on this story: Justin Wise at jwise@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com; John Hughes at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com