Wilson Sonsini Cites 'Ethical Wall' in Defending Its Solyndra Work
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati says it built an “ethical wall” around a lawyer married to an energy department official who pushed for a loan to Solyndra before its collapse.
Wilson Sonsini advised Solyndra on a failed initial public offering and received $2.4 million in fees from the solar energy company in recent years, the Am Law Daily reports. But the law firm tells the Am Law Daily that corporate partner Allison Spinner never worked on matters for Solyndra or involving the Energy Department.
Spinner was married to Steven Spinner, who was a senior member of the Energy Department’s loan guarantee oversight office, the New York Times has reported. Emails showed Spinner backed the $535 million Solyndra loan even though he had promised to recuse himself from matters related to the loan application, the Times says. The Justice Department is now investigating whether Solyndra provided misleading financial information to the government.
“Allison [Spinner] did not work on the Solyndra transaction, nor has she ever worked with the company in any capacity,” Wilson Sonsini said in a statement provided to the Am Law Daily. “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.”