Paul, Weiss, the law firm backing FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) amid bankruptcy, renounced representing the entrepreneur, citing a conflict of interest. The decision to withdraw from representation after SBF’s tweets were found to disrupt the law firm’s reorganization efforts.
Starting Nov. 14, SBF published a series of tweets that amassed extensive attention across Crypto Twitter. The move, however, sparked speculations that the cryptic tweets were used to distract bots from noticing concurrently deleted tweets. While no ill-intent could be concluded, Paul, Weiss attorney Martin Flumenbaum believed that SBF’s “incessant and disruptive tweeting” was negatively impacting the reorganization efforts:
“We informed Mr. Bankman-Fried several days ago, after the filing of the FTX bankruptcy, that conflicts have arisen that precluded us from representing him.”
The law firm’s decision to back out from helping SBF coincided with a much-awaited ruling of fellow fraudster Elizabeth Homes, who got sentenced to prison after being convicted of criminal fraud.
SBF currently faces scrutiny from multiple directions, including ongoing investigations around the misuse of customer funds and disclosing of bankruptcy-related documents.
Despite informing the defendants, the court may refuse an attorney’s request and order them to continue representation — which may seem impossible considering SBF’s behavioral concerns raised by the law firm.
Recently, Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao opened up about the time when Binance was almost ready to bail out FTX from a collapse. Reflecting on the situation, he said:
“When he came to me, I knew he was desperate. If we can’t help him, there’s probably nobody else that would. Probably a bunch of people passed on the deal before us.”
However, the deal for a takeover was called off after a due diligence revealed bigger problems.