Morgan Lewis partner bags HP GC role

Hewlett Packard (HP) has replaced its general counsel with a long-term external adviser, who specialises in litigation and government relations, as the embattled technology company looks to put the pretexting scandal behind it.

Morgan Lewis & Bockius partner Michael Holston has joined HP as its new general counsel, replacing Ann Baskins who quit in September. Holston had been an external adviser to HP for more than a decade.

HP chief executive Mike Hurd said in a statement: “Mike is a first rate lawyer with extensive trial and government-relations experience, as well as a deep knowledge of HP and its culture.”

Holston, 44, will oversee privacy and ethics matters, as well as heading the company’s global legal function. He will also serve on HP’s executive council leadership team.

Holston handled litigation and regulatory matters for HP at Morgan Lewis, and was retained by the company in September to spearhead an internal investigation into the affair.

Baskins’ resignation on 28 September came just hours ahead of her appearance before the US House Energy & Commerce Committee to answer questions about HP’s methods of investigating internal boardroom leaks.

Baskins and HP chair Patricia Dunn hired a detective agency to investigate boardroom leaks, allegedly using “pretexting,” the fraudulent use of another’s identity, to obtain private phone records of HP’s board members.

Holston is due to start with the company on 22 February.