Big Law

IT Departments Beware: Insider Trading

So Catch This …

Apple recently introduced the iPhone 6, and the larger 6+, much to the delight of iFans across the globe. If you have seen the movie, Jobs, you are familiar with the story of the rise to power of one of the largest technology companies of today. You would also be aware that Ashton Kutcher can portray himself as much more intelligent and cunning than the man who could not find his car. However, I digress. In 1979, Apple was not a publicly traded company; with 1980 came Apple’s IPO. Right about now you are probably wondering where I am going with this. Well, the company that represented Apple in their initial public offering, is a now global law firm: Wilson Sonsini.

Long heralded as an innovator from a law firm business perspective and also as a legal technology front runner, Wilson Sonsini was recently in the news, for something far less savory…

A now former, employee of the Wilson Sonsini’s IT Department was arrested and charged with insider trading, using the confidential firm client information to net just under $300K in a little under three years.  The intent to deceive was clear, as he was trading under the alias of a family member. Obviously, the individual knew what he was doing. Ignorance was not the issue here … at least not ignorance of the law.

Our Take…

You can’t fix stupid.  A firm with the prestige, client base and practice focus of Wilson Sonsini have policies and internal controls established to protect the firm and their clients from external and internal resources bent to illegally profit from insider information.  This case is just one instance that made the news wire across the legal industry.  Maybe I have a stronger moral compass than most, but the fact that an individual will risk their life, freedom and family for what: a new car, cool vacation, $$ in the bank does not make sense to me. This begs to question, how many more cases of outright theft have been buried out of fear of losing face in the broader business community.

Such a sad state of affairs, and don’t blame Wilson Sonsini, it is nearly impossible to identify a person with larceny in their heart through the interview/employee hiring due diligence process.

You can read the sad story here, and here

Catch Ya Later …



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