Junior lawyers became ‘meme-splainers’ for partners working on Musk’s Twitter takeover

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By William Holmes on


Is this the new commercial awareness?

Elon Musk carrying a sink into the offices of Twitter – credit @elonmusk (Twitter)

Elon Musk’s meme-ridden takeover of Twitter has left veteran deal lawyers in need of juniors to help explain what’s going on.

The FT (£) claims that young internet savvy associates at elite US outfit Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, which acted for Twitter, found their ability to understand and translate memes (aka “meme-splaining”) for more senior lawyers became an important part of their role.

In a deal that has been shrouded in internet humour, Wachtell Lipton lawyers reportedly sought to decipher Musk’s memes and find “ways to use some of them — including an emoji of a pile of poo [see below] — against him”.

In April, Musk’s buyout offer of $54.20-per-share caught Twitter’s advisors off-guard given its use of “420”, an apparent reference to cannabis and meme culture that identifies an unofficial holiday for cannabis users on 20 April and the time when many users all enjoy lighting up.

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Musk’s 2018 tweet that joked he was thinking about taking Tesla private for $420 per share has seen him in trouble with regulators in the past, with the billionaire settling charges that he misled investors for $20 million.

The takeover offer made in April seemed doomed to fail however by July with Musk announcing that he was scrapping his bid due to Twitter’s alleged lack of transparency regarding fake accounts and ‘spam bots’. Twitter, which had apparently been prepared for such a scenario by bringing in Wachtell Lipton lawyers in June, took Musk to court for allegedly breaching various merger agreements.

Last week, Musk finally closed the Twitter takeover deal, changed his bio to “Chief Twit” and entered Twitter HQ with a sink — yet another reference to a popular meme.

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