Sonsini calls on Akin Gump for Hewlett-Packard probe

Silicon Valley’s legendary technology lawyer Larry Sonsini, name partner of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, has hired one of the country’s leading white-collar crime lawyers as he comes under fire for his role in the Hewlett-Packard (HP) leaks scandal.

Sonsini has instructed Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld’s leading white-collar litigation partner Michael Madigan, who represented the ‘Bush for President’ campaign as chief litigation counsel in the Florida recount hearings during the 2000 presidential election.

HP’s senior lawyers have each instructed their own legal advisers ahead of their appearances before a House Energy & Commerce Committee hearing on 28 September.

HP has been besieged by investigations from the US Department of Justice, California’s state attorney and federal regulators into boardroom spying .

HP general counsel Ann Baskins, senior in-house lawyer Kevin Hunsaker and Sonsini have all been called by the committee, which will attempt to unravel who was behind HP’s internal inquiry into boardroom leaks to journalists this year.

The inquiry used a method known as pretexting (pretending to be someone else in order to obtain private phone records). California attorney-general Bill Lockyer said it is illegal, as reported by The Lawyer (14 September). The chairwoman of HP Patricia Dunn is also expected at the 28 September hearing.

Baskins has hired Cristina Arguedas of Arguedas Cassman & Headley ahead of the hearing. Arguedas has experience of helping general counsel in trouble, recently representing Apple’s former legal director Nancy Heinen, another Sonsini client.

Hunsaker, who The New York Times named as leading HP’s investigation, has hired another rated white-collar attorney, sole practitioner Michael Pancer.