The row surrounding Hewlett-Packard has dominated the US press for the past few weeks. There have been all sorts of righteous editorials decrying the “free-wheeling” Silicon Valley business practices that the nation thought it had rid itself of when Enron went down the pan.

Given his importance in the Valley, it’s no surprise that California’s most legendary lawyer, Larry Sonsini, should find himself at the centre of it all. See story

New York Stock Exchange director Sonsini has been the Valley’s adviser of choice for decades, but his involvement in the scandal surrounding HP and another client, Apple, threatens his pre-eminence.

Sonsini has taken this threat so seriously that he has hired one of the country’s most legendary white-collar crime lawyers, Michael Madigan of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. Madigan’s reputation has been built in Washington DC, going back to his role on the Senate Watergate Committee in 1973.

It was then that Madigan acquired the nickname ‘Mad Dog’. Sonsini’s reputation is on the line; no wonder he wants a lawyer with some bite.