MoFo puts US Taliban client at arm's length

Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) has distanced itself from one of its most infamous clients

A team led by partner James Brosnahan will continue to represent John Walker Lindh, the US man caught fighting with the Taliban in Afghanistan, but under their own names rather than as representatives of the firm.

“There is a concern that a high-profile case like this would enflame the worst kind of passion”
Keith Wetmore, MoFo

Brosnahan claims that it is common for individual lawyers to act for clients in their own name. He said it was a procedure used a couple of times a year at MoFo.
Brosnahan took the case in December (The Lawyer, 10 December). At the time, MoFo chairman Keith Wetmore acknowledged that the decision to represent Walker would be controversial, but he said that accepting “difficult and unpopular” cases was part of the firm's tradition.
Brosnahan is understood to have since approached the firm and asked to take the case away from MoFo's auspices. Wetmore said security concerns were motivating factor. He said: “There is a concern that a high-profile case like this would inflame the worst kind of passion.”