Ted Wells, an attorney hired by ExxonMobil to represent the company against accusations it lied about the climate risks of burning fossil fuels, also represented the tobacco industry in the lawsuit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice in 1999 under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, DeSmog has found. Wells also defended the National Football League (NFL) in the infamous “Deflategate” matter as well as in litigation over the far more serious issue of concussions.
Wells has represented ExxonMobil since at least December 2015, following New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s announcement that his office would probe Exxon’s role in funding climate change denial despite its long-held understanding and pioneering research into climate change.
Wells’ name also appears on an April 13 legal filing Exxon submitted in response to a subpoena issued by the Virgin Islands’AG Office, a sign the “private empire” has retained him for the wider probe being carried out by a group pf Attorneys General.
Wells has made a career out of working on behalf of clients with legal claims often flying in the face of well-established science, with legal industry trade publication Inside Counsel referring to him as a top attorney-for-hire for crisis situations in an April 2007 article.
A DeSmog investigation has also found parallels in legal and public relations defense tactics deployed by Wells on behalf of those past clients and the tactics currently being utilized for his current big-ticket client, ExxonMobil.