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Fenwick & West’s Top Talent Officer Connects from Home in Crisis

Aug. 21, 2020, 11:01 AM

Fenwick & West’s chief talent officer Neha Shah Nissen has been hard at work overseeing a range of firm functions at home, from attorney recruitment, personnel, and training to diversity and inclusion.

Prioritizing People: Nissen has been spending a lot of time since the pandemic hit on back-to-back video meetings, ensuring the firm’s lawyers can effectively support clients as they face a slate of new challenges. She likes to wind down from her busy work schedule with pop-a-shot basketball arcade game she recently had installed on her deck.

Free Throws: “There is nothing better than leaving the desk after a long day, grabbing one of my kids, and seeing who can sink the most shots in the time limit,” she said. “And on the rare occasion that I beat my teenager, I feel like a rock star.” Mary Ellen Egan has the story in the latest edition of Leading Questions.

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Law Firms

Lowenstein Securities Lawyer Group Exits to Launch New Firm
The chair of Lowenstein Sandler’s securities litigation practice and nine of his colleagues are leaving to form a separate firm, according to representatives for Lowenstein and two sources close to the new firm.

Crowell & Moring Reverses Pandemic-Related Associate Pay Cuts
Crowell & Moring is scrapping pay cuts for associate attorneys and staff made in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, joining a growing number of firms to at least partially scale back austerity measures.

Business of Law

KPMG Expects Legal Revenue, Tax Work to Surge After Pandemic
KPMG LLP expects bullish growth globally in its tax and legal divisions over the next few years, fueled by the coronavirus pandemic that many feared would hurt the big accounting firms’ consulting revenues.

Florida Attorneys Ask Court to Grant Licenses Without Taking Bar
More than 100 Florida lawyers petitioned the state’s supreme court to allow recent law school graduates to become licensed lawyers without taking the bar exam.

Legal Tech

Legal Tech ‘App Store’ Reynen Court Releases Version 2.0
The legal tech “app store” that has enlisted almost 20 major law firms as backers has released a second version of its platform.


D.C. Lawyer Suspended for Not Communicating With Appeals Court
A District of Columbia lawyer who filed 30 petitions for review of adverse immigration decisions with a federal appeals court but then failed to notify the court when his clients dropped their appeals was suspended for six months by the district’s highest court.

Also in the News

Civil Rule Proposal Could Streamline Social Security Reviews
New instructions for cases involving Social Security disability benefit reviews proposed by the U.S. federal courts would deviate from a standard doctrine of judicial rulemaking while trying to simplify a cumbersome process.

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.


Note: The Wake Up Call is taking a brief hiatus starting Aug. 17 and will return on Aug. 31.


INSIGHT: Gig Economy Workers Deserve Better Protections
Gig economy employees, like those working for Uber and Lyft, are entitled to the same labor protections that many of us take for granted. Brian Chen, attorney with National Employment Law Program, says the tide is turning in the courts and the theory that these workers benefit from “flexibility” and “freedom” is facing a reckoning.

INSIGHT: Takeaways from Circuit’s Recent CERCLA Contribution Ruling
The Ninth Circuit’s opinion in Arconic v. APC Investment Co. may impact CERCLA litigation and settlements in the Ninth Circuit and possibly beyond, Peter Keays, of Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller, writes. The court said companies that settled their liability with the U.S. for cleanup of a defunct recycling facility in Whittier, Calif., may pursue Superfund contribution claims against non-settling parties. It appears to narrow the circumstances in which CERCLA’s limitations period for contribution claims can be triggered by a settlement between private parties.


Dentons’ Warsaw office hired Dr. Tomasz Trocki as a partner in the Restructuring, Insolvency and Bankruptcy and Banking and Finance practices, and as Head of the Consensual Restructuring team | Womble Bond Dickinson added life sciences patent litigation/IP strategy attorney Mike O’Shaughnessy as a partner in Atlanta | Venable announced that Grant Schneider has joined as senior director of cybersecurity services in Washington; he most recently served as the federal chief information security officer (CISO) for the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) | Dinsmore & Shohl hired Travis Bayer as a partner in its Bankruptcy and Restructuring group in Cincinnati from Kirkland & Ellis, along with labor and employment partner Tony Coleman in Louisville, KY from Frost Brown Todd | Mintz said that Jeremy Vest has joined as a Member in the Litigation Practice in New York, arriving from Boies Schiller | Frost Brown Todd‘s Indianapolis office added member Edwin Broecker to the Manufacturing Industry team and Corporate Law practice group; member April Schilling to the Financial Services industry and Real Estate practice group; managing associate Jeffrey Hunt to the Mobility and Transportation Industry team and Insurance Regulation and Risk Management practice group; and managing associate Jay Horrey to the Corporate Law practice group | Certified minority-owned law firm DTO Law (with offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco) added attorneys Shilpa Coorg, Michael Davis, and Lillie Werner Singh.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Jerome Ashton in Washington at