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Wake Up Call: 27 Big Law Firms Said to Get Covid Loans Forgiven

July 9, 2021, 12:43 PM

In today’s column, Freshfields says its year-old Silicon Valley office has started very strong; China’s crackdown on Chinese tech firms’ foreign-market IPOs could hit the business of global law firms advising on those listings; Quarles & Brady represents both teams in the NBA finals, the Phoenix Suns and Milwaukee Bucks.

  • Leading off, at least 27 of the 200 biggest U.S law firms by revenue got partial or full forgiveness of loans from the federal Paycheck Protection Program, which was aimed at protecting jobs during the pandemic, according to a report. The report, based on a ProPublica database, said the firms, including merger-bound Thompson & Knight, accounted for a total $210 million in forgiven loans. Most said the money went to payroll. Another 15 firms, including Boies, Schiller Flexner, Kasowitz Benson Torres, and Stroock, have not disclosed whether their PPP loans have been forgiven, the report says. (American Lawyer)
  • Loeb & Loeb announced associate pay hikes that match the Davis Polk scale for the first two class years but come in well under the standard for other years; Goulston & Storrs’ raises match the market standard for the first three years, but it has other plans for midlevel and senior associates; Dorsey & Whitney is seeking input from its associates before announcing raises. (Above The Law)
  • The Financial Times reports that law firm Wachtell Lipton and public relations firm Teneo were brought in by in-house lawyers and other top management at health care and insurance giant Cigna Corp. to sabotage Cigna’s proposed $53 billion merger with Anthem Inc. (Financial Times) Cigna recently lost its appeal seeking a $1.85 billion fee for the merger’s breakup. (BLAW)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Big Law firms with offices in Hong Kong and China could take a hit to their business advising on Chinese tech companies’ initial public offerings and other capital market transactions after Beijing’s recent crackdown on those overseas listings. ( International)
  • U.K. elite firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer cites IPO, M&A and SPAC work for a better-than-expected start for its year-old Silicon Valley office. (The Recorder) Milwaukee-based Quarles & Brady is representing both teams in the NBA finals. (American Lawyer)
  • A Pennsylvania court ordered the reinstatement of a workers’ compensation judge who was fired after a clash with employment law firm Pond Lehocky. (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • Trial firm McKool Smith hired patent litigator Christina Ondrick as a principal in Washington. She arrives from Paul Hastings; Buchalter got trademark lawyer Marlene Williams as an intellectual property shareholder in San Francisco. She comes from Nixon Peabody; Lewis Brisbois brought in New York-based entertainment law partners Steven Beer and Richard “Rip” Beyman from Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell & Vassallo. Beer, a former Greenberg Traurig shareholder, becomes co-chair of Lewis Brisbois’ national entertainment media practice, with the longtime chair of the practice, Jonathan Pink. Beyman is a former Columbia Pictures senior counsel. (
  • Haynes and Boone added former Mayer Brown Supreme Court and appellate attorney Christos Papapetrou as a litigation partner in New York. He arrives most recently from Levine Lee; Eversheds Sutherland recruited litigator Ellen Sheridan-Cona, a former regional senior counsel in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s enforcement department, as counsel in New York; in Paris, White & Case M&A and private equity partner Delphin Boucher jumped to Dechert. He was at Willkie Farr & Gallagher earlier in his career. (
  • Former Environmental Protection Agency assistant administrator Peter Wright, who previously spent close to 20 years at the Dow Chemical Company as managing counsel and was earlier in-house at Monsanto, joined Barnes & Thornburg as a partner; Seyfarth hired real estate and leasing attorney Ian Taylor as a partner in Seattle. He arrives from Pacifica Law Group; Keurig Dr Pepper said it’s promoting senior vice president & assistant general counsel Anthony Shoemaker to take over as chief legal officer & GC and join its executive team. He replaces Jim Baldwin, retiring from the roles at the end of September. (


  • Remington Arms swamped lawyers for families of the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre with pretrial discovery data including tens of thousands of “random” images and cartoons, according to a filing. (New York Post)

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

To contact the editor on this story: Chris Opfer at