Legal Ethics

Ex-Ropes & Gray Lawyer Explains How He Snooped for Merger Information

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One sign of a pending merger was attorney workload, according to a former Ropes & Gray lawyer who pleaded guilty in an insider trading case. Documents also provided a treasure trove of information.

“Merger agreements, loan documents, signature pages—those sort of documents are the sort of things we would pass along,” Brien Santarlas testified on Monday. He was cross-examined by lawyers for Zvi Goffer, a former trader in the Galleon Group hedge fund, the New York Law Journal reports. Santarlas has said he trolled the law firm’s copiers and computer system for the merger information.

Santarlas admitted he never met Goffer. He testified last week that he passed along the information to another lawyer, Jason Goldfarb, accused of forwarding the information to Goffer.

Last week, Santarlas testified he agreed to steal secrets from his law firm because he wasn’t happy with his pay. “While we were making good money, it seemed like nothing compared to the money on Wall Street,” Santarlas said.

The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) also has a story on the trial testimony on Monday.

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