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Wake Up Call: 22 Companies Join Effort to Boost Diversity of In-House Leaders

Oct. 25, 2019, 12:07 PM
  • Legal departments from corporations ranging from Ford Motor Co. to Uber Technologies have signed on to a new effort to increase diversity among their top in-house lawyers. The Diversity Lab program extends to in-house teams the so-called Mansfield Rule, which calls for law firms to devise new approaches to get minority attorneys working on cases and headed toward partnership. (Corporate Counsel)

  • Shearman & Sterling lawyers for Wells Fargo & Co. executives and directors and counsel for shareholders who sued the board in a derivative suit over the bank’s sham account scandal are trying to get a California judge’s OK for their $240 million settlement in the case. But the judge has questions about the $68 million in attorneys’ fees they want. (BLAW)

  • A federal judge held Education Secretary Betsy Devos in contempt and fined her department $100,000 in a student loan case. (BN)

  • Kirkland & Ellis partner Paul Clement, who’s often represented conservatives in big cases, may be a surprising choice to defend the the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at the Supreme Court. But some observers said the former George W. Bush Solicitor General is an excellent pick. (BLAW via BLB)

  • Apple Inc.'s ex-head of corporate law Gene Levoff, whose job at the iPhone maker included being a watchdog to prevent insider trading, was indicted for insider trading. (BN via BLAW)

  • A Goldman Sachs investment banker facing charges in an insider-trading ring case fired his Mintz & Gold lawyer after a New York judge tripled the bond he posted for release, to $750,000, and ordered house arrest. (BN)

  • McDermott Will & Emery hired the co-chair of BakerHostetler’s blockchain technologies and digital currencies team, Laura Jehl, as its global head of privacy and cybersecurity practice in Washington. (BLAW via BLB)

  • Major U.K. law firms that have invested in their foreign offices as they get ready for Brexit are already seeing revenues and profit growth at those outposts beating their U.K. headquarters’s growth, according to Big Four accountancy PwC’s latest law firms survey. ( The report also finds surveyed U.K. firms identified cyber threats as their second biggest threat, after Brexit, while all 100 top firms said they’ve had a cyber security “incident” in the last year. (

  • Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton’s LitSmart AutoTasker app won a 2019 best law-firm innovation award at the recent 10th annual Relativity Fest in Chicago. Sponsored by the legal tech company Relativity, the event made several awards to people and organizations for innovations that advance eDiscovery. For example, McGuireWoods’ discovery counsel Cristin Traylor won an award for “attorney tech evangelist.” (

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission senior counsel Jake Prudhomme took a job as the first chief legal officer of financial technology startup Crypto Asset Rating Inc. (Legaltech News)

  • Perkins Coie lawyers for Democratic Congresswoman Katie Hill threatened legal action over a British tabloid’s posting of what it alleges are nude photos of the California freshman, a report says. (Politico)

  • Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Linklaters, and Latham & Watkins have hooked up in a new consortium aimed at developing data automation to improve legal efficiency in financial market transactions. (American Lawyer)

  • Buchalter said it launched a new industry group for its cannabis & hemp industry law practice. The practice, which actually dates to 2013, has more than 100 clients, and involves over 25 lawyers from across the firm. (Buchalter)


  • Fenwick & West represented L.A. startup Modern Animal in its $13.5 million seed round to fund its plan to create a next-generation platform for pet owners to get access to veterinary care. (TechCrunch)

Laterals, Moves, In-house, Promotions

  • Carlton Fields’ trial practice group added litigators Darnesha K. Carter and Luigi Orengo, Jr. as associates in Tampa. Carter is a former senior judicial law clerk for a federal judge. Orengo, in the firm’s bankruptcy creditors’ rights section, was previously at Milbank in Washington. (

  • Hunton Andrews Kurth added tax and public finance lawyer Darren C. McHugh as a partner in Austin. He arrives from Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth, where he was a Denver-based member, and was previously at Dinsmore & Shohl and at Kutak Rock. (

  • Consultant firm Duff & Phelps hired former U.S. bankruptcy trustee and Philadelphia prosecutor Kelly Beaudin Conlan as a managing director in New York in its disputes consulting practice. (

  • French firm LPA-CGR said it hired Baker McKenzie’s former head for French public M&A and securities law practice, Raphaële François-Poncet, as joint-managing partner of its three-year-old Dubai office. According to her LinkedIn, she’s previously been a partner at Ernst & Young, and was a Shearman & Sterling associate. (

Legal Actions, Bankruptcies, Decisions

  • AT&T Mobility LLC, Verizon Communications Inc., and two other major mobile carriers got a Maryland federal judge to send to arbitration four nearly identical complaints alleging the cellular giants unlawfully sold geolocation data to third parties. (BLAW)

Regulators and Enforcement

  • A new rule requiring non-U.S. residents to use a U.S. attorney to secure and maintain trademarks is reining in fraudulent trademark applications, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s director said. (BLAW via BLB)

Legal Education

To contact the correspondent on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at; Molly Ward at