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Sidley Austin’s Private Equity Bet Pays Off

Jan. 28, 2020, 1:18 PM

Sidley Austin launched a private equity practice later than others in Big Law, but has met with quick success, reaching revenues of $300 million for the practice and counting the likes of Clearlake Capital, KKR, and Siris Capital as clients.

Hard at Work: Building a brand from scratch in an incredibly competitive — and lucrative — practice space hasn’t been easy and has required the firm to think differently than many other Big Law firms.

Getting Serious: “Our biggest challenge of course over time was convincing clients and lateral partner transfer candidates that we were serious about private equity and that we were intending to play at a very high level in that space,” said Brian Fahrney, longtime Sidley partner and co-head of its private equity practice.

Meghan Tribe has the story.

DAILY BRIEF


Law Firms

Latham Taps Akin Gump for Experienced White Collar Trial Lawyer
Latham & Watkins brought aboard seasoned trial lawyer Robert H. Hotz Jr., whose experience includes securities and commodities fraud, and insider trading cases.

Latham & Watkins Dealmaker Aslani-Far Heads to Greenberg Traurig
Greenberg Traurig has hired noted M&A attorney and former global co-chair of Latham & Watkins’ M&A practice, M. Adel Aslani-Far, as a partner in its corporate practice in New York.

In-House

TikTok Taps Former Microsoft IP Head as General Counsel
TikTok, the video-sharing social networking service owned by Chinese technology company ByteDance Ltd. has a new global legal chief.

Heineken Hire Prompts New Legal Chiefs for Red Bull, Soccer Team
Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls has appointed Kari Cohen as general counsel, filling a slot previously held by Djenaba Parker, who has been promoted to senior vice president and general counsel of beverage company Red Bull North America Inc.

Business of Law

Legal Startup Atrium Names Two Partners After Layoffs
Atrium Law, a venture capital-backed hybrid firm, named two new partners just two weeks after announcing it would let go of some lawyers and shift its focus beyond legal services.

Ethics

An Insider-Trading Law With Clarity Sought by Bharara Panel
A panel led by former federal prosecutor Preet Bharara urged Congress to clarify the law surrounding insider trading, to make it less confusing for traders, judges and regulators.

Lawyers Shrug Off DOJ Environment Chief’s Bar License Lapse
The Justice Department’s top environmental lawyer probably won’t face fallout for inadvertently allowing his bar membership to lapse for two months.

Extortion or Negotiation? Avenatti’s Nike Jury Will Decide
Michael Avenatti, the lawyer who parlayed his work for adult-film actress Stormy Daniels into a platform as one of President Donald Trump’s most vocal critics, had a swift fall from grace in March after he was charged in New York with trying to extort millions of dollars from Nike Inc. and in California for stealing from clients.

Avenatti Allegedly Googled ‘Insider Trading’ Before Nike Meeting
Celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti did internet research on put options and insider trading before trying to extort millions of dollars from Nike Inc. while he was representing a youth basketball coach with claims against the company, federal prosecutors told a judge.

Tennessee Lawyers Can No Longer Be Reinstated After Disbarment
Tennessee attorneys who are disbarred on July 1 or after no longer have the option of being reinstated after the state’s highest court adopted several changes to one of its rules.

Iowa Attorney Gets Reprimand But No Probation
An Iowa attorney who was found to have neglected clients received a public reprimand from the state supreme court but won’t be put on probation.

WAKE-UP CALL

Major Law Firms in China Act to Help Fight Virus’ Spread
In today’s column, Latham & Watkins entered the associates’ bonus race a little late. A litigation boutique formed by ex-McKool Smith partners won a $236 million patent verdict against two big rivals in its first trial; and major firms advised on deals aimed at getting regulators’ okay for AbbVie Inc.’s $63 billion acquisition of Allergan Plc.

PRACTITIONER INSIGHTS

INSIGHT: Trade Secrets 2019 Litigation Roundup and 2020 Trends
Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP attorneys, in Part 1 of a two-part series, highlight 2019 developments in trade secret litigation and say 2020 will see similar trends. Courts will continue to construe the Defend Trades Secret Act and attorneys can expect to see more cases alleging misappropriation of emerging technologies.

INSIGHT: Law Firms Must Innovate to Keep Up With Alternative Service Providers
A growing wave of legal process outsourcing companies and alternative service providers is disrupting the legal industry by offering unique delivery models, specialized services, digital capabilities, and cost-effective pricing structures. Major, Lindsey & Africa’s Elizabeth Smith and Roger Garceau offer advice for law firms on how to effectively navigate today’s legal services revolution.

INSIGHT: Fate of Obamacare in Limbo Following Invalidation of Individual Mandate
The Fifth Circuit’s ruling that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is unconstitutional is important because it impacts other parts of the act and whether provisions, such as the “employer mandate,” can stand on their own, writes Ballard Spahr’s Edward I. Leeds.

WORKFLOWS

Jones Day announced that Lanier Saperstein has joined as a partner in its Financial Markets Practice in New York | Baker McKenzie hired Thomas Asmar as a partner in the M&A practice in Silicon Valley from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP | Winston & Strawn added Eric Johnson and Michael Blankenship as partners to the capital markets and M&A group in Houston | Greenberg Traurig’s Latin America practice has added Giovanni Biscardi as a shareholder in the New York office and as a foreign legal consultant in the Miami office from Carlton Fields; and M. Adel Aslani-Far joins as a shareholder in the Global Corporate Practice in New York from Latham & Watkins LLP | Fisher Phillips added Michael R. Miller as senior counsel and Timothy Tack as partner in Tampa office; both are attorneys in the Professional Employer Organization industry and join from Miller Tack & Madson| Drinker Biddle added four intellectual property partners to its Denver office; Timothy Scull, Kirstin Stoll-DeBell, Andrew Pouzeshi and Kathleen Ott all arrive from Merchant & Gould P.C. | Dechert said that Howard Klein has joined as a partner in the employee benefits and executive compensation group in New York | Eversheds Sutherland hired Stanley Freeman as a partner in Washington from Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville | Latham & Watkins added Robert H. Hotz Jr. as a partner in the Litigation & Trial Department and member of the White Collar Defense & Investigations Practice in New York from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP | Alston & Bird has hired Stuart Plunkett as partner in San Francisco from Baker Botts LLP.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bruce Kaufman in Washington at bkaufman@bloomberglaw.com

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