Monday, September 30, 2019
New York Law Journal, Williams & Connolly Defending Weil Gotshal Against Tax-Bungling Allegation:
Weil, Gotshal & Manges has brought in Williams & Connolly partner John Villa to defend it from allegations of unethical conduct related to advice it gave financial services firm Perella Weinberg Partners over the tax treatment of two executives’ deferred compensation.
Ex-Perella investment bankers Michael Kramer and Derron Slonecker, who are represented by Lisa Solbakken of Arkin Solbakken, accused Weil earlier this month of failing to disclose that the deferred-compensation forms at the center of their dispute with Perella didn’t comply with tax laws. Perella’s withholding of more than $10 million in deferred comp from the departed bankers was therefore invalid, they argued. ...
Weil sought to withdraw as counsel for Perella in the litigation this month after a report in the New York Post on Aug. 22 said Weil partners had concluded they risked being sued for malpractice over the advice they gave Perella. The Post reported that Weil may have given Perella bad advice by having Kramer and Slonecker sign their deferred-comp agreement amendments too late to avoid penalties under federal tax laws. ...
In a letter filed Tuesday, Villa said Kramer and Slonecker’s assertion that Weil had unethically withheld its thoughts on the tax issue was irrelevant and wrong.