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Kirkland’s Bankruptcy Practice Pulls Ahead With Sizzling May

June 9, 2020, 1:02 PM

Kirkland & Ellis has received nearly $100 million this year representing large, public companies in Chapter 11 bankruptcies, growing its leading haul during a sizzling month of May that included filing three cases on behalf of distressed retailers.

Leading the Pack: Kirkland represents 11 of the 24 public companies to have filed bankruptcy this year with more than $100 million in assets, according to a UCLA database. A Bloomberg Law analysis shows law firms representing the debtor in those cases received $153 million in retainers and fees leading up to the case.

Counter-Balance Pay-Off: Kirkland’s early lead in the lucrative market for debtor-side bankruptcy fees comes despite a number of law firms bulking up their restructuring practices in recent years preparing for a downturn. Roy Strom has the story.

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DAILY BRIEF


Law Firms

Latham Restructuring Partner Joins Paul Weiss in New York
Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison added Latham & Watkins’ restructuring partner Andrew Parlen to its New York office as law firms gear up for an uptick in bankruptcy work.

Jones Day Sued by Ex-Michigan State Football Staffer Over Probe
The law firm Jones Day, two of its attorneys, and Michigan State University’s former football coach face a federal suit by a former team staff member over their investigations into alleged sexual assaults that occurred in 2017 involving MSU football players.

In-House

Applied Materials Appoints New Top Lawyer Amid U.S.-Huawei Fight
Applied Materials Inc. announced Monday its hire of a new law department leader from rival semiconductor equipment manufacturer KLA Corp.

Business of Law

Law Firms Push New York To Drop Police Misconduct Report Shield
Leaders of 30 major law firms in New York State are urging the “swift repeal” of a provision of the state’s civil rights law that they say impedes public disclosure of police misconduct records.

New York State Bar Creates New Racial Justice Task Force
The new president of the New York State Bar Association Scott Karson has announced the creation of a task force on racial justice and police brutality in light of protests that erupted following the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody.

D.C. Appeals Court to Offer Online Bar Exam in Early October
The District of Columbia’s next bar exam will be a pared-down, online-only test administered October 5 and 6, because both Covid-19 and the “overwhelming demand for seats” made an in-person test increasingly untenable.


Judiciary

‘Innovative’ Washington State Access to Justice Program to End
A Washington State program designed to increase access to justice by allowing more people to provide limited legal services was shut down by the state’s highest court. It will end next year.

Also in the News

Equifax Settlement of Credit Reporting Lawsuit Rejected By Court
A tentative settlement in a lawsuit challenging Equifax Information Services LLC‘s credit reporting procedures regarding bankruptcy was rejected by a Virginia federal court, in part because the parties failed to adequately explain their proposed reforms to Equifax’s procedures.

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


Surge in Covid Litigation Work in View, Survey Says
In today’s column, top U.K. law firms are increasingly relying on a government furlough scheme to reduce drain on their cash during the Covid-19 crisis; demand is hot for data privacy and security lawyers; Applied Materials Inc. poached a top lawyer from a rival semiconductor equipment maker; in Wisconsin, a white woman lawyer got arrested for spitting on a black teenager during George Floyd protests.

PRACTITIONER INSIGHTS

INSIGHT: Lockdown Lawsuits Call for Evidenced-Based Judicial Review
The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently struck down the state’s shelter-in-place order. Daniel B. Rodriguez, law professor at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, and Washington, D.C., attorney JP Schnapper-Casteras say it’s important for measured judicial intervention amid the pandemic to guard against the sort of tone-deaf partisanship illustrated by the decision.

INSIGHT: Energy Explosion—10 Trends to Watch in Energy Restructurings
U.S. crude is at record lows, with the Saudi Arabia-Russia price war and the pandemic. King & Spalding attorneys take a look at what’s expected in the energy industry, considering the two bankruptcies already filed.

INSIGHT: Covid-19 Causing a Surge in E-Commerce—Is Your Website Accessible?
The coronavirus epidemic is causing a spike in online shopping, with states issuing stay-at-home orders and mandatory closures of nonessential businesses. McDermott Will & Emery says e-commerce businesses should be on high alert for litigation alleging that websites are not accessible to individuals with disabilities and provides best practices.

INSIGHT: Federal Regulation Could Sweeten the Sports Betting Pot
Sports betting has finally come to the U.S. Yet, in perhaps the most capitalist economy in the world, the rollout of the industry can be described as anything but smooth, say Alexander Kane, a sports betting expert and entrepreneur, and derivatives lawyer David Aron. They explore how states have given the clear upper hand to incumbent casinos, the related adverse effects on betting customers, and why sports bets may fall within the CFTC’s jurisdiction.

INSIGHT: Covid-19 Example of Why SEC Should Use E-Delivery for Form CRS
Beginning June 30, broker-dealers must deliver a summary of certain information, including services, fees, and conflicts of interest, to retail customers. Thomas M. Selman, founder of Scopus Financial Group and former FINRA executive vice president for regulatory policy, says the SEC should make electronic delivery the first choice for delivery because more customers will read it and catastrophic events like Covid-19 wouldn’t thwart delivery.

INSIGHT: President Trump’s Misunderstanding of Federalism
Despite President Trump’s wishes to merely proclaim the power to order states to act in a host of settings, he often does not have that power, says Ediberto Román, law professor at Florida International University. He looks at the president’s views in the George Floyd protests, Covid-19 stay-at- home orders, and immigration issues and says Trump’s misguided belief is that his power is unchecked.

WORKFLOWS

Barnes & Thornburg hired John M. Moye as a partner in the Litigation Department in Atlanta | Veteran IP attorney Travis Iams is returning to private practice and joining Womble Bond Dickinson’s Charlotte office | BakerHostetler added Mark D. Temple and Peter J. Stuhldreher as partners to its Labor and Employment Practice Group in Houston; they both arrive from Reed Smith LLP | Jenner & Block announced that David Robbins has rejoined the firm as a partner and co-chair of the Government Contracts Practice in Washington | Clark Hill named trial lawyer Tim Flaherty member-in-charge of its San Francisco office; he was San Francisco managing partner at Morris Polich & Purdy, which merged with Clark Hill in 2017.

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