Law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison has made a formal request to a U.S. judge, asking to dismiss a bid put forth by Yelp and the News/Media Alliance that would prevent the law firm from serving as Alphabet’s Google’s lead defense counsel in an ongoing legal dispute concerning Google’s digital advertising business practices.
According to a report by Reuters, attorneys representing Paul Weiss submitted a filing in a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, on Friday. In the filing, they accused Yelp and the News/Media Alliance of engaging in “gamesmanship” in their attempt to disqualify the law firm from representing Google.
It’s worth noting that the U.S. Justice Department and a group of states initiated legal action against Google in January, although Yelp and the news media coalition are not direct parties to the lawsuit. Nevertheless, they asserted in their filing that Paul Weiss was switching sides by representing Google on issues the firm had previously advised them on.
Paul Weiss, represented by lawyers from Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, countered these claims by denying any substantial relationship between the Justice Department’s case and their previous work for Yelp and the news alliance. They stated that they haven’t provided legal services to Yelp or the news alliance since late 2020. It’s important to note that both clients had terminated their relationship with Paul Weiss when their former attorneys, Jonathan Kanter and Brandon Kressin, left the firm to establish a boutique law firm.
Paul Weiss emphasized in its filing that disqualifying the firm at this stage would seriously prejudice Google. They highlighted that they have already invested more than 10,000 hours in defending Google in the ongoing legal proceedings.