December 7, 2018 / 6:01 AM / 9 days ago

Tesla hires Washington trial lawyer as new general counsel

A Tesla showroom is seen in Santa Monica, California, United States, October 23, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

(Reuters) - Tesla Inc has hired Dane Butswinkas, a Washington, D.C. trial lawyer, as its general counsel, the electric car manufacturer said late on Thursday.

Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk had hired Butswinkas to help settle a case with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Bloomberg had reported in October.

Musk and Tesla paid $20 million each in fines to settle the case, which stemmed from the billionaire CEO’s Twitter posts in August about taking the company private.

Butswinkas, the chairman of major Washington law firm Williams & Connolly, is replacing Todd Maron at Tesla.

Maron, who also served as Musk’s divorce lawyer, had led Tesla’s legal department since 2013.

"Tesla presents a unique and inspiring opportunity," Butswinkas said in a statement here from Tesla. "Tesla's mission is bigger than Tesla – one that is critical to the future of our planet."

Reporting by Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar

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