Twitter Criticism Demonstrates That Each Lawyer, All over the place, All the time Is Smarter Than Elon Musk

Twitter Criticism Demonstrates That Each Lawyer, All over the place, All the time Is Smarter Than Elon Musk

(Photograph by Theo Wargo/Getty Pictures for TIME)

As anticipated, Twitter has sued Elon Musk, submitting a criticism drafted by Wachtell and Wilson Sonsini litigators. However as Twitter delivers over 60 pages of completely brutal allegations portray Musk’s enterprise acumen as solely barely faraway from handing a seal three seashore balls and several other billion {dollars}, my major takeaway from the criticism was: pleasure.

Actual, real, Biglaw pleasure.

Elite regulation corporations aren’t recognized for giddy emotions, however the entire deal reads as lawyer enjoyable from begin to end. From Simpson Thacher and Wilson Sonsini negotiating a deal tailored for this second, getting each concession alongside the best way. To counseling Twitter by means of the deal as Musk managed to stay as much as each one of many attorneys’ rock-bottom expectations. To the second Wachtell acquired to return in and take the deal shepherded by two different corporations and switch it into an absolute scorcher of a criticism. Everybody deserves credit score and the closing dinner on this one may very well price a billion {dollars} and be fully price it.

Certainly. That is the primary tweet of a thread livetweeting her studying of the criticism which is price a glance.

However the lawyerly motion begins at paragraph 32:

The next day, on Sunday, April 24, 2022, Musk tried once more to power Twitter’s hand. He delivered a letter to the board repeating that his $54.20 per share provide was “greatest and ultimate,” threatening as soon as extra to promote all of his shares if his bid have been rejected, and saying he would suggest a “vendor pleasant” merger settlement to be signed earlier than the market opened the subsequent day. Musk’s counsel despatched over a draft settlement, reiterated that Musk’s provide was not contingent on any due diligence, and underscored that the type of the proposed settlement was “meant to make this straightforward on all to get to a deal asap.”

Twitter and its counsel harbored actual fears that Musk would possibly bypass the corporate and take the deal on to shareholders, so it wasn’t all enjoyable and video games in April. And that’s when Musk informed them that he wished a “vendor pleasant” settlement that wasn’t contingent on due diligence.

Let’s get some footage of the Twitter authorized crew upon listening to that:


Each good negotiation begins with taking all of your leverage off the desk!

But it surely didn’t finish there, as a result of Twitter’s transactional legal professionals then acquired an opportunity to barter like children in a sweet retailer with grandma:

The settlement was negotiated by means of the evening and, within the course of, turned much more seller-friendly. Among the many provisions not contained in Musk’s proposal however included at Twitter’s insistence have been an endeavor by defendants, together with Musk, to “take or trigger to be taken . . . all actions and to do, or trigger to be carried out, all issues crucial, correct or advisable” to acquire the financing (already dedicated) to consummate the transaction, Ex. 1 § 6.10(a); a transparent disclaimer of any financing situation to closing, id. § 6.10(f); and a proper on Twitter’s half to request and promptly obtain updates from Musk about his progress in acquiring financing, id. § 6.10(d). These provisions ensured that financing can be no impediment to closing and that the corporate would have the correct to remain knowledgeable of Musk’s progress in arranging his financing.

Working by means of the evening should have by no means felt so good.

The day after the events introduced the merger settlement, I predicted Tesla buyers would flee in droves and blow up an enormous chunk of Musk’s wealth as a result of they’d, justifiably, concern tying their cash to somebody who would enter a deal like this. And that was earlier than I knew he’d ASKED for it to be vendor pleasant.

Twitter legal professionals should have had the identical thought in regards to the dangers this announcement posed to Musk’s funds as a result of they requested for AND GOT this qualification too:

Twitter additional negotiated to slim the circumstances below which -13- defendants might escape the deal by claiming a “Firm Materials Opposed Impact.” Along with excluding, for instance, market-wide and industry-wide results and circumstances and declines in inventory value and monetary efficiency, the ultimate definition excluded issues regarding or ensuing from Musk’s id or communications, “efficiency” of the settlement, and any matter disclosed by Twitter in its SEC filings apart from the “Threat Components” and “Ahead-Trying Statements” sections of these disclosures. Id. Artwork. I.

A grasp class in overlaying shopper ass. Which is in fact a transactional legal professional’s job.

It’s not like Musk didn’t have illustration. Musk was represented on this deal by Skadden, prompting somebody to ask me how Skadden might’ve let one thing like this occur. I dunno, however…


What’s Skadden purported to do? So long as every thing is authorized and the agency offers Musk with full details about what’s occurring, Skadden type of has to roll with it. I refuse to imagine Skadden wished to waive each attainable safety to create an absolute catastrophe of a deal for Musk, however primarily based on the narrative of the criticism, he appears to have stored telling them to go forward.

Twitter additionally negotiated the correct to demand particular efficiency, which appears significantly related proper now:

It’s arduous to think about it should come to that, as a result of particular efficiency is such a drastic type of aid and one expects that somebody will prevail upon Musk to settle earlier than that occurs. However Twitter clearly owes it to its shareholders to demand the total $40-some-odd billion fairly than settling for the $1B different aid — although given Musk’s antics, it’s in all probability in the perfect pursuits of the shareholders to take much less and hold Musk’s palms away from the rudder.

After celebrating a slam dunk settlement, Twitter legal professionals needed to climate the street to closing. Musk had waived due diligence so nothing might actually derail this deal “absent a Firm Materials Opposed Impact or a cloth covenant breach by Twitter.” Because the criticism notes, “Musk needed to attempt to conjure a kind of.”

He started gradual with disparaging posts about Twitter, giving Twitter an excuse to kill the deal. With billions and billions on the road, Twitter refused the bait.

So then he goes after the existence of bots. Twitter has made constant, certified representations that bots make up fewer than 5 % of its customers. Regardless of waiving diligence and having made the existence of bots one of many causes for his resolution to purchase the corporate, Musk all of a sudden demanded to know extra about bots and threatened the deal if bots amounted to greater than 5 % (which… until they amounted to one thing loopy like 50 % there’s little likelihood it will be materials, however that is the scent of desperation right here).

So Twitter gave him an in depth report on the way it calculates bots on Might 13 (pattern of roughly 9,000 accounts). Musk instantly goes on Twitter and says Twitter samples 100 accounts?!?! Then he tweets about Twitter complaining that he seemingly lied in regards to the methodology. After which on June 30…

Certainly, in a June 30 dialog with [Twitter CFO Ned] Segal, Musk acknowledged he had not learn the detailed abstract of Twitter’s sampling course of offered again in Might.

Holy hell. What’s even occurring right here? He’s tweeting allegedly wild misrepresentations in regards to the methodology earlier than studying it? That is the second corporations began getting ready their pitches for the litigation enterprise.

Musk’s entire protection appears to be that Twitter didn’t give him info when the allegations counsel he waived his rights to most info, they offered him with tons of data gratuitously (together with a uncooked feed of all of Twitter amounting to 49 tebibytes which I didn’t even know was an actual quantity till now), after which this galaxy mind admits to Twitter that he’s not even it.

Musk’s acquired Skadden already and is bringing on Quinn Emanuel for this case. I’m pondering, for them, this set of info doesn’t spark pleasure.

And Musk’s continued tweeting positively doesn’t. You already know there was an web hoax claiming that Twitter had banned Musk after the deal went bitter. Why? He’s simply pumping out an increasing number of damning proof for Twitter’s declare that he’s solely attempting to harm the corporate and exit the deal. Let him hold speaking!

Within the early morning of July 11 (Japanese time), Musk posted Tweets implying that his information requests have been by no means meant to make progress towards consummating the merger, however fairly have been a part of a plan to power litigation during which Twitter’s info can be publicly disclosed:

Screen Shot 2022-07-13 at 11.01.26 AM

We talked about that one on the left earlier within the week, noting that Professor Hasen had already pegged that one for an exhibit number. So it’s secure to say that the lawyerly pleasure of watching each prediction on this case come to go instantly has unfold to regulation professors too.

I proceed to be flummoxed by Musk’s idea that he’ll ever see this information in court docket. How is it related? He waived diligence and Twitter claims that its public SEC filings mirror its testing methodology. The one related proof would appear to be “what’s your methodology and does it persistently flip up a fewer than 5 % determine?” He agreed to purchase the corporate primarily based on that illustration so the one discovery he ought to get can be restricted to these reps… which might be all within the report he’s by no means learn anyway.

There’s an extended option to go and Musk could have an opportunity to clarify all of this, although with a lot of the worst allegations backed by publicly out there tweets, it’s arduous to see how.

However proper now, let’s simply respect the second. That is a kind of uncommon circumstances the place everybody (on Twitter’s aspect anyway) from the start of the deal to the courthouse steps has seen the fruits of their labor instantly repay. For a job that’s normally messy and constructed off compromise and caveats, that’s enjoyable to witness.

Criticism on the subsequent web page.

Earlier: No Stranger To Paying Assist After Screwing Round, Elon Musk Faces Twitter Lawsuit Over Failed Deal

HeadshotJoe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Legislation and co-host of Considering Like A Lawyer. Be happy to electronic mail any suggestions, questions, or feedback. Observe him on Twitter when you’re thinking about regulation, politics, and a wholesome dose of school sports activities information. Joe additionally serves as a Managing Director at RPN Government Search.