Breaking News

Lordstown Motors Taps New Legal Chief as Company Faces DOJ Probe

Lordstown Motors Corp., the electrical automobile firm under a federal investigation, introduced Tuesday that Baker & Hostetler husband or wife Melissa Leonard will succeed Thomas Canepa as counsel beginning Jan. 1.

Leonard, co-leader of Baker & Hostetler’s mergers and acquisitions apply, has been exterior counsel to Lordstown since 2019. She not long ago recommended Lordstown on a $280 million deal with Taiwan’s Foxconn Technologies Co. Ltd., which has agreed to make an equity expense in the Lordstown, Ohio-based mostly firm.

That offer, declared in September, also noticed Foxconn obtain a former Common Motors Co. manufacturing facility in Ohio that Lordstown procured in 2019. Securities filings display that Foxconn has turned to Paul Hastings for outdoors counsel on the deal. The strategic partnership between the two firms will make it possible for Foxconn to take a look at opportunities in the automotive space, in accordance to Bloomberg Information.

Lordstown is the matter of Justice Section inquiry into statements that the company exaggerated opportunity sales of its Endurance pickup truck. Information of the probe, which is getting taken care of by the U.S. attorney’s business in Manhattan, triggered Lordstown’s share selling price to tumble in July as the company sought to shore up its financing with a $400 million inventory sale to Yorkville Advisors World LP.

Baker & Hostetler is at present symbolizing Lordstown in securities litigation submitted versus the corporation as a outcome of that make any difference, according to courtroom dockets. The firm also endorsed Lordstown very last calendar year on a merger with a special goal acquisition corporation that took Lordstown public at a $1.6 billion valuation.

New Top rated Lawyer

Leonard, 52, did not straight away reply to a ask for for comment.

She has been a corporate and transactional lawyer at Baker & Hostetler since 1995. Leonard at this time works out of the regulation firm’s places of work in Cleveland and New York.

In a assertion from Lordstown, Leonard stated she’s “thrilled” to join the enterprise and function with its new CEO, Daniel Ninivaggi, a former company husband or wife at Winston & Strawn who earlier led Icahn Enterprises LP.

Leonard explained she’ll help Lordstown bring to industry next year its Endurance electrical pickup truck, as very well as “further fortify our world-wide strategic partnership with Foxconn” and increase the company’s other business fleet prospects for “engineered electric powered motor vehicles.”

Ninivaggi stated in a statement that Leonard brings 20 years of M&A, finance, and corporate governance expertise to Lordstown and is familiar with the firm perfectly acquiring served as its main outdoors corporate counsel for the previous two decades. Ninivaggi took more than as Lordstown’s CEO in August pursuing the resignations in mid-June of the company’s former CEO and CFO.

Baker & Hostetler spokeswoman Courtney Smith claimed that with Leonard at Lordstown the firm will however continue on to provide as key exterior company counsel to the business. Smith added that Baker & Hostetler expects to formally announce a new co-chief of its M&A team sometime in early 2022.

Outgoing Standard Counsel

Canepa, Lordstown’s outgoing lawful chief, was employed in 2019 at a foundation income of $250,000 for each 12 months, according to securities filings. Lordstown’s most recent proxy statement, submitted in July, demonstrates that Canepa attained around $380,000 in whole compensation—including an possibility award valued at $88,000—during fiscal 2020. Canepa is leaving Lordstown to “pursue other prospects,” the enterprise explained.

Prior to joining the company, Canepa worked for several Chicago-dependent corporations and recommended entities affiliated with Lordstown’s founder and previous CEO Stephen Burns. Canepa was also when the major law firm at Pitchfork Media Inc., a audio publication offered in 2015 to Advance Publications Inc.-owned Condé Nast.

Leonard will also get on Canepa’s company secretary title at Lordstown. Canepa will present transitional companies to the organization by means of Jan. 31, 2022, in accordance to a securities submitting. He owns roughly $56,000 in Lordstown inventory, for each Bloomberg information.

Lordstown, apart from its functions in the car-concentrated Ohio town of the identical title, also has engineering, investigation, and enhancement amenities in Farmington Hills, Mich., and Irvine, Calif., the business said.