Marty Lipton Denounces President Trump’s Charlottesville Comments

Marty Lipton, one of the founders of Wachtell, Lipton Rosen & Katz and a prominent corporate lawyer, denounced President Donald Trump’s Tuesday statements that laid blame to “both sides” for deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

In an email, Lipton said:

“I am appalled by President Trump’s statements about the events in Charlottesville. Hate and bigotry are offensive to the American Constitution, the American dream and the overwhelming majority of the American people. I join with and I applaud those business leaders, public officials and others who have disassociated themselves from President Trump’s statements.”

Lipton, 85, is the creator of ‘the poison pill’ — a strategy to protect companies from raiders — and a longtime advisor of boards and CEOs of public companies, defending them in hostile takeover situations. Recently, his firm represented Whole Foods in its acquisition by Amazon and Chipotle Mexican Grill as activist shareholders sought to remove board members and sell off parts of the company.

Martin Lipton, founding partner of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, Photo by Nelson Ching (Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Martin Lipton, founding partner of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, Photo by Nelson Ching (Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Lipton marked the latest law firm leader who spoke out against Trump’s statements, which blamed both sides for violence that resulted from the white nationalist and white supremacist rally in Charlottesville that left one counter-protester dead and numerous injured.

In a press conference at Trump Tower in Manhattan, Trump had said: “I think there is blame on both sides. You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say that. I’ll say it right now.”

Immediately after Trump’s comments, business leaders and politicians on both sides of the aisle widely criticized the comments, saying there should be no moral ambiguity.

Among them were law firm chairs.

Yesterday, Brad Karp, chair of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, sent an internal note to similar effect.

“There is no place in our society for expressions of bigotry and group supremacy,” Karp told his lawyers.

On Wednesday, ALM Reporter Katelyn Polantz tweeted a memo from leaders of WilmerHale.

Lawyers at WilmerHale, Polantz noted, have recently represented Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort and advisor Jared Kushner on the Russia investigation. At the same time, some of its alums — including Robert Mueller — are conducting the investigation into the possible Trump-Russia connection.

Write to the reporter at csullivan@bloomberglaw.com.

Write to the editor at gabefriedman@outlook.com.