Bradley Gayton was hired by Coca-Cola as General Counsel, their top in-house lawyer. He was let go this week after about four months on the job. In late January, Coke sent a letter to all of the outside lawyers doing work for the corporation demanding that they engage in illegal racial discrimination in assigning lawyers to work for Coke.
Outside counsel commit to providing KO [Coca-Cola’s stock ticker symbol] with self-identified diversity data (including American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black, Women, Hispanic/Latinx, LGBTQ+, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander and Persons with Disabilities) for KO’s quarterly analysis of the diversity of teams working on KO matters
. . .
For each new KO matter following the revision to the guidelines (“New Matters”), you commit that at least 30% of each of billed associate and partner time will be from diverse attorneys, and of such amounts at least half will be from Black attorneys. Work performed by diverse attorneys is expected to be accretive to their development and advancement at the firm.
Of course, these demands are blatantly illegal.
Gayton is no longer General Counsel at Coke, and will spend the next year as a “Strategic Consultant” for the company. On the way out the door, he reportedly is getting a $4 million one-time bonus and $666,666 a month for a year for being a do-nothing consultant.
Nice “work” if you can get it.