Mayor Eric Adams, Alex Spiro

NY City Hall Hires Celebrity Attorney To Represent Mayor Eric Adams

A city spokesperson clarified the attorney, who previously charged JP Morgan Chase $2,025 an hour will be paid significantly less.

New York City Hall has enlisted the services of celebrity attorney Alex Spiro to represent Mayor Eric Adams in a lawsuit accusing him of sexual assault toward former city colleague Lorna Beach-Mathura in 1993.

The high-profile lawyer of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has been brought on as co-counsel, according to a court filing by the city law department on Monday. Politico reported that a 2023 profile stated Spiro, who has represented clients like Tesla CEO Elon Musk, entertainment mogul Jay-Z, and actor Alec Baldwin, is known for “protecting the rich and famous from the consequences of their poorest decisions.”

According to a City Hall spokesperson, the attorney who previously charged JPMorgan Chase $2,025 an hour on a fraud case will be paid $250 an hour for work by partners and $175 for work by associates, a significantly smaller amount than the one charged to the bank.

Adams will not pay out of his own pocket, as City Corporation Counsel Sylvia Hinds-Radix confirmed last month that he qualified for free legal representation from the city since he was a city employee with the Transit Police in 1993 when he was accused of sexually positioning and masturbating in front of his former colleague.

The mayor denied the claims and stated he doesn’t recall meeting Beach-Mathura. His legal team has further criticized the plaintiff’s track record, pointing to the plaintiff’s history of filing numerous lawsuits that have yielded little success. The present case against Adams was initiated under the Adult Survivors Act, a legislative measure that extended the statute of limitations for certain sexual offenses.

A spokesperson for the law department advised that the city anticipates the case to be a resource-intensive endeavor, stating, “In certain cases, the Law Department retains outside firms to provide assistance during litigation…We retained the firm of Quinn Emanuel to serve as co-counsel to assist us in representing the city and the mayor in this case to ensure the Law Department can maximize its existing resources on our numerous other matters.”

Legal expert Arthur Schwartz asserted that Spiro’s adeptness in navigating media scrutiny could have contributed to the recent hiring. “They’re going to have to deal with all of the publicity and people standing in the hallway taking photographs shouting out questions,” he said. He added that if the case goes to trial, Spiro is well-versed in managing high-profile, celebrity cases.