The law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP is seeking to quash a subpoena from accused Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, where Mr. Stanford’s criminal case is pending. Mr. Stanford allegedly conducted an $8 billion Ponzi scheme involving certificates of deposit.
Akin Gump currently represents two insurers in a coverage dispute against Stanford directors and officers in the same court. Akin Gump also previously represented several Stanford entities in various matters. The significance of these earlier representations is at the center of the current battle between the law firm and Mr. Stanford.
Mr. Stanford brought a document subpoena in the criminal case, seeking records regarding the law firm’s earlier work for the Stanford entities. Mr. Stanford argued that these documents were relevant to his defense that he relied on the advice of counsel. The court granted Akin Gump’s motion to quash the subpoena.
Then, the judge in the coverage case denied Mr. Stanford’s motion to disqualify Akin Gump from representing the insurers due to its earlier representation of the Stanford entities. The court found that Akin Gump never represented Mr. Stanford personally and that he could not “pierce the corporate veil” in this situation. The court also found that there was no connection between the law firm’s earlier representations and Stanford’s current legal issues.
More recently, Mr. Stanford moved for reconsideration of the court’s decision to quash the subpoena in the criminal case. Akin Gump responded that the decision in the coverage case makes it even clearer that Akin Gump’s documents are not relevant to Mr. Stanford’s criminal trial. Stanford’s Motion for Reconsideration can be found here, and Akin Gump’s Response can be found here.