Conflict forces Hogan Lovells partner off Megaupload case

A prominent US-based Hogan Lovells lawyer acting for content-sharing website Megaupload.com has been forced to withdraw over conflicts of interest involving another client, it has emerged.

It is understood that Hogan Lovells fraud partner Robert Bennett initially advised the company and several executives after the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) last week ordered the arrests of its founders over copyright infringement.

According to Megaupload.com’s lawyer, Ira Rothken, Bennett had been working for the company before their indictment. It is not known who the firm’s other client is.

Bennett has, in the past, worked on a number of high-profile cases including representing failed US energy giant Enron as well acting for US President Bill Clinton over sexual harassment allegations brought by former employee Paula Jones.

Federal prosecutors have accused the content-sharing website of costing copyright holders over $500m (£320m) in lost revenue as users are charged a premium for distributing copyrighted material.

Its founder, German national Kim ‘Dotcom’, disputes the claim, saying that Megaupload.com acts as online “storage”.

Allegations include copyright infringement, conspiracy to commit copyright infringement, conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit racketeering.

Hogan Lovells did not return calls for comment.