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Gig Economy’s Go-To Legal Team Plays Long Game in California

July 24, 2020, 12:19 PM

A small group of “elite” litigators at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher has quietly become the courtroom face of Uber, Postmates, and DoorDash as the companies face an existential legal battle over drivers’ rights. They say they’re playing to win, but the team has also made an impact by simply avoiding a court ruling forcing the companies to start treating drivers as employees.

Legal Heavyweights: California lawyer Ted Boutrous, who has recently tangled with the White House over tell-all books about President Trump, has been fighting for Uber and other gig companies in court for nearly a decade. The legal team also counts Facebook, Chevron, and actor Ashley Judd among its clients.

November Looms: Uber and other gig companies are spending $110 million on a ballot initiative to convince California voters to overturn a new state law that makes it harder for them to treat drivers as self-employed contractors. Plaintiffs’ lawyers say they’ve been kept at bay by arbitration disputes and strategic settlements, but those tactics may not have the same effect on a growing number of government lawyers getting in on the action.
Chris Opfer has the story.

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WORKFLOWS

Squire Patton Boggs hired partner Michael E. Helmer to its global Corporate Practice in Summit, N.J. from DLA Piper | Marshall Dennehey has added Yasin G. Amba, Andrew B. Jaffe and Mikhal O. Wright as Associates in Orlando, and Todd Leon has joined the Insurance Services practice group as special counsel in Philadelphia | McCarter & English’s Hartford, CT office added partner Rolan Joni Young (from Berchem Moses & Devlin) and Special counsel Christine Morgan to the Real Estate practice | Thompson Knight hired partner Keith Brandofino and of counsel Maximiliano Rinaldi and David Mignardi in New York; all arrive from Kilpatrick Townsend | Alston & Bird has expanded its trial and complex litigation capabilities with the addition of Eric Kuwana as a partner in the New York and Washington offices from Cooley | Miles & Stockbridge hired Thomas E. Zeno as counsel and co-chair of its White Collar, Fraud and Government Investigations Practice in Washington.

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

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