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PPP Per Partner: What Government Loans Would Have Cost Lawyers

July 9, 2020, 12:51 PM

Boies Schiller Flexner and other Big Law firms were among the recipients of government loans under the Paycheck Protection Program. Forty-five AmLaw 200 firms received between $210 million and $425 million in total from the Small Business Administration program aimed at saving jobs during Covid-19.

Capital Call: The question remains as to whether the group of wealthy firms, at which the average profits per equity partner reached around $1 million last year, could have skipped government loans and just raised cash by asking partners to pony up cash themselves. But that’s a complicated ask for law firms, which have a lot to lose if they alienate talent.

Take the Cash: “There are firms who felt it was wrong to take the money and they didn’t,” said Peter Zeughauser, a partner at law firm consultancy Zeughauser Group, of the PPP. “And there were others who felt that if the money was available they owed it to their partners to go get it. And it really indicated a divide in cultures.”

Roy Strom has the story in this week’s Big Law Business column.

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DAILY BRIEF


Law Firms

Jones Day Female Lawyers Want Nationwide Pay, Performance Data
Jones Day and a group of female lawyers suing for alleged systemic sex discrimination will ask a federal judge today to decide whether the firm must allow the women to review pay and performance evaluation data for more than 2,000 lawyers nationwide for possible evidence supporting their claims.

Business of Law

Company Funding Lawsuits Sees Profit Outlook Brighten Amid Virus
Analysts have rapidly lifted their earnings forecasts for a global litigation financier on expectations that the pandemic could spark more legal disputes.

DLA Piper Advises Abry Partners on HealthEZ Medical Plan Deal
DLA Piper advised Abry Partners, a private equity firm that focuses on the health sector, in its acquisition of a majority stake in medical plan administrator HealthEZ, the firm said.

In-House

Coinbase Taps Facebook Deputy General Counsel as New Legal Chief
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Inc. raided Facebook Inc. for one of its top in-house lawyers on Tuesday, hiring Paul Grewal to serve as its new chief legal officer.

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


Law Schools ‘Panic’ Over New ICE Rule on Online Classes
In today’s column, Weil, already advising J. Crew, is now advising Brooks Brothers in the latest big Covid-caused retail bankruptcy; two Black former Big Law attorneys are heading a U.K. consultancy that advises law firms and banks on how to improve diversity; Baker Mckenzie launched a global task force to improve racial and ethnic diversity across the firm; law firms offering ALSP-style advanced data analysis and consulting services aren’t really competing with those tech-based providers, a report says; Merck hired a pharmaceutical in-house veteran as top lawyer for a planned spinoff.

PRACTITIONER INSIGHTS

INSIGHT: Repo Borrowers Be Able to Recover Covid-Related Margin Call Losses
Many repo borrowers may have viable legal claims for breach of their agreements during the Covid-19 crisis. Kasowitz Benson Torres attorneys look at possible legal strategies investors may want to consider to recover their unprecedented losses through the courts.

INSIGHT: Supreme Court LGBT Ruling Leaves Sports Transgender Questions
Despite the fact that Title IX, which covers sports litigation, contains language very similar to that in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibiting sex discrimination, transgender individuals still have a significant legal battle to fight in the field of amateur sport, says sports attorney Ronald S. Katz, senior counsel at GCA Law Partners LLP.

INSIGHT: New York Faces the Opportunity to Eliminate Ban on Felon Jury Service
Allowing those with felony convictions to serve on criminal and civil trials is one of the most fundamental ways of dismantling the systemic racism that continues to plague us, says New York attorney Mathew Haicken. He says New York has Democrat votes in the House and Senate to pass legislation and it’s up to leadership to act.

INSIGHT: Law Firms Should Focus on Business Development Hiring in Pandemic
What’s your law firm’s strategy for keeping the business you have and expanding new business? Do you have the business development talent you will need to accomplish this? Eva Wisnik, president and founder of Wisnik Career Enterprises, talks with two law firm CMOs about what their law firms—BakerHostetler and Selendy & Gay PLLC—are focusing on and why it’s important to keep investing in BD and marketing.

INSIGHT: BigLaw Diversity—Remote Workforce Can’t Be Allowed to Slow Efforts
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, remote work is now ubiquitous among BigLaw, but how has it effected the development of lawyers and firms’ diversity and inclusion efforts? In the first part of a two-part series, Russell M. Franklin, partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, examines what it takes to advance through the ranks at a large law firm or within a large legal department.

WORKFLOWS

Bracewell added Danielle M. Varnell as a partner in its power practice in Washington from Jones Day, and also Vincent E. Morgan as a partner in the litigation group in Houston from Pillsbury | Akin Gump hired back international trade lawyer Matthew Nicely as a partner in Washington, arriving most recently from Hughes Hubbard | Haynes and Boone grabbed patent lawyer Philip Albert as a partner in San Francisco from Davis Wright Tremaine | Dykema recently hired Nezihe Banu Colak, former Assistant Attorney General of Michigan, as a Senior Counsel to its Public Finance Practice Group in Lansing | Shearman & Sterling announced that Garreth Wong has joined the London office as an International Arbitration partner from Bird & Bird | Spencer Fane added James (Jim) Lodoen as a partner in the Bankruptcy, Restructuring, and Creditors’ Rights practice group in the Minneapolis and Upper-Midwest market.

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

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