Lawyer Up: Volkswagen Hires Kirkland & Ellis

Last week, we reported on the Volkswagen emissions scandal and what we expected would be an onslaught of lawsuits.  So far there have been more 200 federal lawsuits filed in the United States, in addition to investigations from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice.  In response to the scandal, Volkswagen has called in the heavy hitters at Kirkland Ellis to lead its defense. Sure, this Volkswagen case will be a procedural and logistical nightmare given its sheer size and scope.  And we know the EPA and DOJ will be looking for their pound of flesh. But at the end of the day, it’s a bunch of customers that are miffed that their car isn’t as green as advertised.  Nobody died. The California coast is not covered in sludge. Some have estimated that Volkswagen may be on the hook for as much as $80 billion. We’d guess it gets out from under this thing for less than $30 billion. Of course, that is not counting the estimated $33 billion dollars in market value Volkswagen has already lost due its stock price plummeting after the scandal broke. Oh, well.


  1. Nobody that we know of has died yet in a way that can be conclusively proven to be Volkswagon’s fault.

    Statistically speaking, people will definitely die as a result of this action. The exact number is not known with any certainty, but the general results seem to be more than ten and less than 200. I don’t think that’s funny. Profiting at the cost of lives should be punished harshly: prison sentences for executives whether or not they knew, prison sentences for anyone involved that knew and fines in the hundred million dollar range to remind corporations that breaking the law and killing people (even if you can’t point to a specific corpse) is not acceptable.