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Twitter stiffed us on $2m bill, claim consultants in lawsuit

These are the litigation specialists hired to get Musk to acquire the platform

Global consultancy Charles River Associates (CRA) has joined the queue of companies claiming Twitter walked away without paying its tab.

The company, hired to provide expert testimony and consulting services to Twitter's old management in litigation against Elon Musk in 2022, prior to the completion of the $44 billion deal, filed its claim on January 19 in the Suffolk County Superior Court, Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

It alleges Twitter breached its contract with CRA after the consultancy itself did work on that famous breach of contract suit, back when "Old Twitter" sued the now Chief Twit for allegedly reneging on his agreement to buy the microblogging platform for $54.20 a share in cash in July 2022, although it feels much longer ago to many of us.

Musk countersued in August, claiming he'd been misled about the number of bots floating around, although by October (unbelievably, only three months ago) the deal was done at the original valuation, though not without some moaning from the billionaire about how much he'd overpaid.

CRA says it signed a contract with three different law firms in the Musk litigation, all of which signed "on behalf of Twitter."

Among other things, CRA claimed in its civil complaint that it sorted an expert rebuttal report to counter expected testimony from financing, solvency and valuation expert Yvette Austin Smith, who was to testify for the "Musk parties," according to the filing.

In addition to suing for breach of contract, CRA claims in its complaint, seen by The Register, that Twitter should pay "double or treble" damages under Chapter 93A, a Massachusetts law that looks at unfair business practices.

"The total amount of the Invoices which have been rendered to Twitter and remain unpaid are $2,189,001.83," it stated, alleging that Twitter had "breached the Contract by failing to pay all of the CRA invoices."

The consultancy's complaint joins a host of civil claims against Twitter alleging breach of contracts signed prior to the takeover, including a December lawsuit filed in California by Imply Data Inc, a software dev seeking more than $8 million claiming Twitter canceled its invoice for a quarterly payment after deciding not to renew a license agreement deal. Meanwhile, a private jet provider sued Twitter for allegedly failing to pay the bill for two flights taken by former chief marketing officer Leslie Berland as Musk was preparing to close the $44 billion acquisition.

Twitter is being sued in England for allegedly failing to pay the rent for its London office. This is happening while Musk is facing a class-action lawsuit in San Francisco brought by Tesla investors over a pair of allegedly misleading tweets from the automaker boss.

There's also a breach of contract claim from landlord Columbia Property Trust. CPT owns an office tower at 650 California Street in San Francisco, where Twitter rents the 30th floor (and where, on another, undisclosed floor, several of The Register's SF bureau vultures sometimes perch). The property owner is claiming Twitter owes it more than $136,000.

Elsewhere, the social media company is also facing off against lawsuits that claim it violated labor laws and that layoffs were conducted without enough notice, including a British action claiming the way the American giant is going about the collective consultation redundancy process doesn't conform to UK law. ®

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