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HP ends not so special ties to lawyer

Er, thanks for the advice, Larry

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HP has decided that it can do without the special advice of Silicon Valley powerbroker and lawyer extraordinaire Larry Sonsini, according to a New York Times report.

Sonsini – famous for decades in these parts – gained national fame in September during HP's spy scandal hearings in front of Congress. Emails between the lawyer, HP executives and former director Tom Perkins raised serious questions about how sound Sonsini's advice was around the practice of pretexting. He seemed to indicate that phone record fraud sounded like fair game, after being nudged in that direction by HP's internal lawyers.

During his testimony before Congress, Sonsini vehemently denied any wrongdoing.

HP will keep doing business with Sonsini's firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati but apparently has cancelled its "special" relationship, where the lawyer advised HP on a variety of issues. The company, for example, asked Sonsini to lead its first board member investigation by conducting interviews with directors.

HP has refused to comment on the exact nature of its relationship with the lawyer.

The Sonsini debacle adds yet another chapter to "boring" Mark Hurd's tenure as CEO. Perhaps Hurd forgot he was so dull. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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