Tesla hires new lawyer in compliance role amid legal battles

The logo of car manufacturer Tesla is seen at a branch office in Bern, Switzerland. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

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(Reuters) – Tesla Inc has hired Michael Munro to handle compliance issues, according to a post from Munro on his LinkedIn account Tuesday, as the electric-car maker and its CEO Elon Musk face mounting legal challenges.

Munro will serve as associate general counsel for global compliance. Tesla did not confirm the hire nor did it immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

Munro jumps to Tesla from a part-time position as general counsel at logistics platform company e2Log and a role at compliance consulting firm GCMR, which his LinkedIn profile said he co-founded.

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Tesla and Musk, who is the world’s richest person, are fighting on several legal fronts, including with the Securities and Exchange Commission over a 2018 agreement to have Musk’s Twitter posts vetted.

Tesla also faces several labor lawsuits, the latest of which alleges the company failed to provide legally-required advance notice to employees ahead of a recent “mass layoff.” Musk at the Qatar Economic Forum on Tuesday called the lawsuit “trivial.”

In a Twitter post last month Musk said he wanted to a build a “hardcore litigation department” at Tesla that avoided “white-shoe lawyers … who thrive on corruption.”

According to Munro’s LinkedIn profile, he has largely worked in compliance-focused roles with companies, though he had a brief stint at large law firm Norton Rose Fulbright in 2016.

Tesla’s legal department has cycled through top in-house lawyers, with five holding the job in the past three years. David Searle is currently the carmaker’s acting head of legal.

Searle did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday on Munro’s hire.

Read more:

Elon Musk’s rocky track record with lawyers goes back years

Elon Musk files appeal to end SEC decree over Twitter posts

Tesla sued by former employees over ‘mass layoff’

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