This morning, a tipster caught this image outside Grand Central station in New York. Apparently we have some communist vampire hybrid photoshop about Paul Hastings engaged in extortion?
I’m skeptical, friends.
It’s not exactly clear why the protesters think the average New Yorker knows what Paul Hastings even is, let alone would care to learn more about a protest that looks like… this. The default setting of New York City is “do not engage crazy” and this poster is designed to broadcast maximum crazy. It costs real money to print a banner like this! Mayhaps that money could’ve been better spent on a bit of design work?
Alas, wise spending decisions aren’t how a guy ends up in Chapter 11 in the first place.
This protest is the latest in an ongoing campaign that lodges a bunch of random allegations against Paul Hastings partner Luc Despins, who serves as the Chapter 11 trustee overseeing the estate of Chinese mogul Guo Wengui (a/k/a Miles Guo, a/k/a Ho Wan Kwok). Guo claims to have around $100K to his name and around $500 million in liabilities. Quite the reversal from the $1.1 billion that outlets estimated Guo had at one point.
But what Guo does have is a longstanding Mar-a-Lago relationship and a partnership with Steve Bannon. As we’ve discussed in the past, Guo provided money for a number of conservative causes…
And speaking of Steve Bannon … if the name Guo Wengui sounds familiar, it’s because Guo has long been a patron of Bannon’s. In fact, Bannon was on Guo’s yacht when the mailman came to arrest him for his We Build the Wall grift. And Guo was recently revealed to be the money behind GETTR, the conservative social media platform started by Jason Miller, Trump’s comms guy.
Bannon and Guo have a group called New Federal State of China and many of the attacks on Paul Hastings direct people to that entity. Which tracks because most of the attacks on the firm posture Guo as the “number 1” enemy of the Chinese government and suggest the efforts to clean up Guo’s own voluntary bankruptcy amount to a Chinese plot to take down dissidents. On the one hand, this imagery is exactly the sort of thing that would trigger a response from the standard January 6 Bannon supporter. On the other hand… were they expecting to find a lot of them outside Grand Central on a Tuesday? Apparently, the protest boasted another sign that said, “Paul Hastings doesn’t practice law, they practice Jew hatred,” which is… not where a protest with alt-right roots generally veers.
(1) posting false and harassing online materials about the Chapter 11 Trustee Luc Despins (the “Trustee”), PAX’s or PAG’s officers or employees, counsel to the Trustee or PAX, and any of their respective relatives; (2) publishing online the home addresses and other personal information of the Trustee, PAX’s manager PAG’s Chairman Shan Weijian, PAX’s or PAG’s other officers and employees, and their respective relatives (including identifying relatives’ employers); and (3) encouraging, inciting, suggesting, or directly or indirectly funding protests at the home or office the Trustee, PAX’s or PAG’s officers or employees, counsel to the Trustee or PAX, and any of their respective relatives (including former spouses).
And to otherwise, “take any act that, threatens, or encourages others to threaten the safety of Trustee, PAX’s or PAG’s officers or employees, counsel to the Trustee or PAX, and any of their respective relatives (including former spouses).” Seems pretty reasonable.
Looks like it didn’t take.
Joe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.