Tesla (TSLA) announced on Friday that General Counsel Todd Maron is leaving the electric vehicle maker, the second high-ranking attorney to do so this quarter. Last month, Phil Rothenberg left his post as Tesla's Vice President of Legal, to become general counsel at Sonder, a hospitality start-up.
The electric car company said it plans to replace Maron with seasoned Beltway trial lawyer Dane Butswinkas, a chairman at Williams & Connolly, who was also a Co-Chair in the firm's Commercial Litigation, Financial Services and Banking Groups.
Butswinkas will report directly to CEO Elon Musk , and will oversee Tesla's legal and government relations teams, according to Tesla's statement.
Tesla specified, in their announcement, that Maron will stay on through January to ensure a smooth hand-off to his successor.
Maron's leaving Tesla comes as a surprise to many due to his longstanding relationship with Musk. He served as the billionaire's divorce attorney via a boutique family law firm, Jaffe and Clemens, prior to joining Tesla in 2013 as deputy counsel.
Tesla is currently facing a host of lawsuits and regulatory probes.
And the company is working to become compliant with terms of a settlement it struck earlier this year with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission , after Musk tweeted that he could take the company private at $420 a share. The settlement requires Tesla to employ an "experienced securities lawyer" to review social media communications by its senior officers, including Musk.