Electric car start-up sued for US$106m by former GC it hired from top US firm

Lawyer alleges executives lured him by making false claims about a pending US$2bn investment

Electric car start-up sued for US$106m by former GC it hired from top US firm

A former general counsel for Faraday Future has sued the electric car start-up, saying he left his lucrative practice at one of the major US law firms because executives falsely painted a bullish picture of the company’s prospects.

Hong Liu left Mayer Brown and moved to California from New York because executives of the Tesla competitor allegedly made false claims about a pending US$2bn investment into the company, Bloomberg Law said.

The investment, which was rumoured to come from China’s Evergrande Group, did not push through. Liu said in the lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York that he was fired after less than a year into the job without receiving the pay he was promised.

Liu is seeking the US$6m in cash he said was promised to him, as well as the 20 million shares, worth US$100m, in Faraday affiliate Smart King.

Liu, an expert in matters linked to China, said in his case that he was fired for essentially doing his job. He said that executives were not open to his attempts to ensure compliance with basic workplace, immigration, and securities law, according to Bloomberg.

The publication also noted that at least nine in-house lawyers have left Faraday since late 2018. The company has had several high-powered attorneys, including Ian Eisner, who was the litigation head of the company, and Sheryl Skibbe, who was an assistant general counsel. Eisner has since returned to Winston & Strawn as a partner, and Skibbe has since returned to the Seyfarth Shaw partnership.

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