Its a case of a nasty divorce that just got nastier disaffected litigant Allison Huynh alleged that Big Law firm Morrison & Foerster had been a “willing architect and facilitator” in a nefarious scheme to cheat her and her children out of former husband and Google code writer Scott Hassan’s share of a fortune.
Hassan (right) helped write Google’s original code and is widely regarded as Google’s ‘third founder’.
A tech and robotics entrepreneur, he is sued in the messy divorce with Huynh claiming Morrison & Foerster represented her husband in a manner thast created financial harm to herself as a former client of the firm.
Huynh is herself a tech entrepreneur and began the divorce proceedings in 2015 following a 15 year marriage to Hassan
The lawsuit describes the firm’s alleged “disloyalty to and betrayal of” Huynh, who’s represented by Walter Lack and Steven Shuman of Los Angeles-based litigation firm Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack.
“We deny all the allegations made by the plaintiff against the firm and its representatives and we will address them in the proper forum,” a Morrison & Foerster spokesperson said.
Morrison & Foerster was “the willing architect and facilitator” of Hassan’s “nefarious scheme to cheat his wife and children out of hundreds of millions of dollars,” the suit alleges.
Before the divorce filing, Morrison & Foerster had represented Huynh in the formation of her own tech company while also representing tech and real-estate family companies launched by Hassan, the suit says. The suit describes Hassan as the widely acknowledged “third founder of Google.”
When Huynh filed for divorce, Morrison & Foerster “improperly chose sides, aligning themselves with Hassan,” her lawsuit said.
The firm “associated in” as Hassan’s counsel, represented at least six Hassan-affiliated deponents, and “continued to represent the family companies that Hassan managed in a way that was detrimental.”
The family court judge in the divorce disqualified Morrison & Foerster from representing Hassan in that action, but the law firm “decided to flout rather than follow” the order by continuing to assist Hassan in the divorce and by representing companies he managed, the suit alleges.
A $90 million tax benefit to Hassan is one of the issues pleaded by Huynh as the result of an alleged ‘fire sale’ of one of his companies for “a paltry $400,000, thus creating the tax benefit. As half owner of the company, Huynh said she had to file a suit to stop the sale, incurring over $1 million in legal costs.
Along with the firm itself, Morrison & Foerster partner Paul “Chip” Lion III is also named as a defendant.
Morrison & Foerster deny all the allegations made against them.
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