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Hewlett-Packard Names General Counsel

The company names Michael Holston as its top lawyer after four months.

Four months after losing its top lawyer to the pretexting scandal,


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has appointed a new general counsel.

On Wednesday, H-P said Michael Holston, a partner at the law firm Morgan Lewis and a former federal prosecutor, will head up the company's staff of lawyers and oversee privacy and ethics matters.

Holston will also serve on H-P's executive council leadership team.

Holston replaces H-P's longtime general counsel Ann Baskins, who resigned in September, hours before she appeared with CEO Mark Hurd and others in front of a

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congressional subcommittee hearing on the company's controversial investigation techniques.

H-P came under fire last fall when details emerged that the technology company had illegally accessed the personal phone records of directors, employees and journalists, using a method called pretexting, in a effort to plug internal media leaks.

The California Attorney General has filed

felony charges against former H-P Chairwoman Patricia Dunn and several individuals in connection with the affair. Dunn has pleaded not guilty.

Holston, 44, has worked as an outside lawyer for H-P for more than 10 years on a variety of litigation and regulatory matters, according to the company. In fact, Holston was retained by H-P in September to spearhead an internal investigation into the controversial pretexting affair.

"Mike is a first rate lawyer with extensive trial and government-relations experience, as well as a deep knowledge of H-P and its culture," said CEO Mark Hurd in a statement.

Shares of H-P, which closed Wednesday's regular session up 29 cents at $42.30, were unchanged in extended trading.