In-House Counsel

Apple CEO, Law Firm May Play Role in GC Case

  • Print.

A well-known law firm and the CEO of Apple Inc. may provide evidence in the civil fraud case against the company’s former general counsel, Nancy Heinen.

CEO Steve Jobs has been subpoenaed for a deposition in the Securities and Exchange Commission case against Heinen, who is accused of participating in a scheme to backdate stock options, the Recorder reports.

Heinen may argue she forward-dated stock options instead of backdating them, believing the law allowed her actions, according to an earlier post. She released a statement in April saying her actions were “fully understood and authorized by Apple’s board of directors.”

In an Aug. 31 court filing, the SEC says Heinen has identified 49 people likely to provide relevant evidence in the case, including the law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Name partner Larry Sonsini advised Apple on one option grant to Jobs, the legal newspaper says.

Peter Henning, a professor at Wayne State University Law School, speculates Heinen will seek to use Sonsini’s testimony to back up her claim that she was unaware of wrongdoing.

“She could try to say, ‘I spoke with Wilson Sonsini and they’re the best there is. I didn’t intend to defraud and I didn’t act recklessly,’ ” he told the legal publication.

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.