Thursday, October 13, 2011

Facing Conflicts Allegations, Law Firm Representing Solyndra Cites Ethical Screen

Facts continue to come to light around the controversy underlying government loan guarantees to the now bankrupt Solyndra solar power company. Now Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati stands accused of a conflict in connecting with its work represented the company.

The firm worked with Solyndra on its aborted $300m IPO last year, among other matters, generating $2.4m in fees. As it turns out, a corporate partner at the firm was married to a senior official in the US Energy Department's loan guarantee oversight group (Steven Spinner). Information is coming to light alleging that Spinner exercised influence behind the scenes to push through loan guarantees for the firm.

As The American Lawyer reports: Spinner "...had pushed hard for the Obama administration to provide Solyndra with the loan that helped sink it."

When approached about the connect, Wilson Sonsini stated: "Allison [Spinner] did not work on the Solyndra transaction, nor has she ever worked with the company in any capacity... Also, the firm established an ethical wall around Allison with respect to [Wilson Sonsini's] representation of clients in matters involving [Energy Department] loan programs."

Furthermore, "No one from Wilson Sonsini was permitted to 'discuss or otherwise communicate' about those matters with Spinner, the firm said in its statement."

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