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Black General Counsel Reach Milestone in the Fortune 1000

Aug. 7, 2020, 12:29 PM

The number of black attorneys leading legal departments is on the rise, reaching more than 5% of general counsel at the 1000 largest U.S. companies.

Moving Forward: The legal industry has failed to deliver on diversity over the years, but there are signs of progress, including through the work of the Black General Counsel 2025 Initiative. Some advocates have called for in-house legal chiefs to hold their internal teams and outside counsel partners accountable for building diversity.

Taking Action: “Any general counsel who believes that these issues are important, they have the power to, in the words of the late Representative [John] Lewis, stir up some good trouble,” said Chasity Wilson Henry, the general counsel of the CECO Environmental Corp. and co-founder of the NEW Roundtable, a resource group for Black women in law. Ruiqi Chen has the story.

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DAILY BRIEF


Law Firms

Leading Questions: Clark Hill’s Paola Armeni Isn’t Slowing Down
Bloomberg Law spoke to Clark Hill’s Las Vegas member-in-charge Paola Armeni about the challenges of working in the office during the pandemic, staying connected to clients and staff, and balancing motherhood and work.

McDermott Raids Quinn Emanuel for L.A. Entertainment Law Leader
McDermott Will & Emery is continuing its expansion, this time on the West Coast, bringing aboard one of the leaders of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan’s national media and entertainment practice.

Black IP Lawyers Who’ve Made It Look to Grow Ranks Beyond 1.7%
The rarity of being a Black intellectual property lawyer in the United States hits home for the 1.7% of attorneys who fit that description.

In-House

Big Law Recruits Bolster Exxon Mobil, IBM In-House Ranks
A pair of large law firm litigators have headed in-house to two companies with ongoing regulatory, litigation, and compliance needs.

Business of Law

Government’s PACER Fees Are Too High, Federal Circuit Says
The U.S. government charges too much for access to an electronic database of federal court records, the Federal Circuit ruled in a decision curbing a revenue stream the court system uses to help fund other programs.

Sidley, Kirkland Guide Clearlake, Blackstone on Diligent Deal
Sidley Austin represented Clearlake Capital Group L.P. and Kirkland & Ellis advised Blackstone on the companies’ investment in Diligent Corporation, a corporate governance software maker, according to the firms.

What impact has the coronavirus pandemic had on bankruptcy filings across the country? To gain a clearer picture, Bloomberg Law has launched its Bankruptcy 2020 Survey to assess the current state of bankruptcy practice. Take the survey here.

Follow Bloomberg Law’s global coverage of the coronavirus pandemic on our Coronavirus Outbreak channel, and track the latest changes in the federal court operations with our interactive map.


WAKE-UP CALL

Legal Departments Don’t Plan Spending Cut: Survey
In today’s column, in-house lawyers are struggling with an increased workload during the Covid-19 crisis, a survey finds; the pandemic has caused Asian-Pacific law firms to accelerate innovations; Baker Mckenzie started a U.S. practice group to advise tenants and landlords on lease negotiations and disputes; Nevada’s going ahead with its online test next week after the state’s top court rejected recent law grads’ petition for diploma privilege; Latham & Watkins poached Simpson Thacher & Bartlett’s Palo Alto-based tax practice leader.

PRACTITIONER INSIGHTS

INSIGHT: Dodd-Frank’s 10th Anniversary—Time for SEC Whistleblower Changes
The 10-year anniversary of the Dodd-Frank Act is the perfect time to make changes to its so-far successful whistleblower program, says Phillips & Cohen’s Erika A. Kelton. The SEC has collected more than $2 billion in enforcement sanctions with the help of whistleblowers, who need additional protection from retaliation and deadlines for initial award determinations.

INSIGHT: Sanctions, Export Controls Actions Offer Road Map to Enforcement Trends
The second quarter of 2020 included significant economic sanctions and export controls developments out of the Departments of Commerce and Treasury. Kirkland & Ellis LLP attorneys discuss these actions and what they may indicate for the remainder of the year.

INSIGHT: Fluoridation Case Challenges EPA Chemical Evaluation
A lawsuit in federal court challenging fluoridation is one of the first cases under the TSCA’s citizen-suit provision to reach trial, and may embolden similar groups’ efforts to compel the EPA to reevaluate chemicals it has long-determined safe, Hanson Bridgett LLP attorneys Davina Pujari and Cole Benbow write.
WORKFLOWS

Davis Polk & Wardwell grabbed Gibson Dunn & Crutcher antitrust partner D. Jarrett Arp in Washington | Littler‘s Reno, NV office added two new attorneys; Karyn M. Taylor returns as a shareholder, and Holly J. Stewart joins as an associate from Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite | Blank Rome hired matrimonial & family law of counsel Alan Feigenbaum in New York from Alter, Wolff & Foley | Former Pennsylvania Republican Congressman Jim Greenwood joined DLA Piper as a senior policy adviser to the Litigation and Regulatory practice in Washington, and as chair of the firm’s new Life Sciences, Health, Policy and Regulatory subgroup | Michael Best Strategies hired consultant Donald Conrad as a principal as part of the business and community solutions health care team in Waukesha, Wisc. | Katharine Moir has joined Latham & Watkins’ Transactional Tax Practice in the Bay Area from Simpson Thacher | Cozen O’Connor added trial attorney Rick Holzworth as a member to its Private Client Services practice in Philadelphia from Fox Rothschild | Bradley Arant Boult Cummings announced that Zachary P. Martin has joined the Birmingham office as an associate in the Litigation Practice Group.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Jerome Ashton in Washington at jashton@bloomberglaw.com

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