At least half of the Silicon Valley companies embroiled in the stock-options backdating probe have a second thing in common: They were all represented by premier go-to high-tech law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. 2

At least half of the Silicon Valley companies embroiled in the stock-options backdating probe have a second thing in common: They were all represented by premier go-to high-tech law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

That, in and of itself, is hardly surprising since the firm has such astounding market share that it can take its pick of big deals and big clients. In fact, it’s common practice for companies to waive any potential conflicts to have these guys and gals on their team. Wilson Sonsini has always prided itself on taking exceptional ethical care in this regard.

In boom times, that meant professional domination and loads of legal fees. But now Wilson Sonsini could face legal headaches in the backdating investigations on the regulatory and civil fronts, reports San Francisco legal newspaper The Recorder.

For example, Brocade ex-CEO Gregory Reyes claims it was uber lawyer Larry Sonsini (pictured, one of the nation’s sharpest legal minds who sat on Brocade’s board) who greenlighted Reyes to essentially act as a committee of one to grant stock options, including their exercise prices, since the compensation committee met only every three months and the company was competing to recruit the best and the brightest in the tech boom, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Ex-Brocade CEO Greg Reyes
Such a practice is completely legal in Delaware and furthermore was critical at a time when there was such intense competition for talent, a Wilson Sonsini spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal.

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