Bloomberg Law
March 30, 2018, 11:15 AM

Wake Up Call: Amazon Fires Akin Gump, Squire Patton Boggs Lobbyists

• Inc. last week replaced its Big Law lobbyists, a person familiar with the move said. The online commerce giant is said to have axed Akin Gump, Washington, D.C.'s biggest lobby firm, and Squire Patton Boggs, and hired new advisers who previously worked as outside lobbyists for Airbnb Inc. and Oracle Corp. at the now-fallen Podesta Group. Amazon’s move comes as the company faces Twitter attacks by President Donald Trump, months after the tax overhaul law was passed last year. ( Bloomberg )

• Chicago-based McDermott Will & Emery hired dozens of attorneys from DLA Piper, including Jeffrey Steiner, who will head the firm’s real estate finance practice area and join its management committee. In an internal memo obtained by Big Law Business, McDermott chairman Ira Coleman also announced the firm will open a new San Francisco office later this year. ( BLB )

• Labor and employment law firm Fisher Phillips said it launched a new subsidiary to provide legislative and regulatory advocacy services to management-side clients. The wholly owned unit, FP Advocacy LLC, will differentiate the firm with its subject matter expertise, rather than its personal connections, Fisher Phillips counsel Ben Ebbink said. ( Bloomberg Law )

• A lawyer for the family of the woman killed earlier this month by an Uber autopiloted vehicle in Tempe, Arizona, said the family has reached a settlement with the ride-hailing giant. ( Washington Post )

• Cloud-based firm FisherBroyles poached blockchain legal expert Adam Ettinger from Sheppard Mullin’s L.A. office, to be partner and co-chairman of its financial technology and blockchain practice group. ( The Recorder )

• Wells Fargo’s Morgan Lewis lawyers convinced a Philadelphia federal judge to deny a black former branch manager’s bid to pursue class bias claims against the bank. However, the bank must face individual claims for now, and the ex-employee can refile the class claims. ( Bloomberg Law )

• On the fifth day of the Justice Department’s antitrust trial to stop AT&T Inc.'s proposed $85 billion deal to buy Time Warner Inc., Time Warner’s attorneys from New York firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore launched a withering attack on the U.S. government’s evidence. ( Bloomberg )

• April Fools’ jokes at work can get laughs but the joke could be on the company in court if the boss had a role in a gag gone wrong, a Seyfarth Shaw lawyer says. ( Corporate Counsel )

• Graduates of top law schools in the Washington, D.C., area are increasingly attracted to jobs in Big Law firms and corporate legal departments rather than in government or advocacy groups, according to a report. ( National Law Journal )

Legal Actions

•Tesla Inc. investors can move ahead with claims that billionaire founder Elon Musk duped them into backing his $2.6 billion buyout of a solar-energy firm founded by his cousins, the Delaware Court of Chancery ruled. ( Bloomberg ) ( Delaware Business Court Insider )

• Morgan Lewis client Cigna Health & Life Insurance Co. defeated a proposed class action accusing it of improperly reducing the disability benefits of a veteran who served in Bosnia and Iraq. ( Bloomberg Law )

• Goodwin Procter client TIAA must face a proposed $50 million class-action lawsuit accusing the retirement plan service provider of taking improper cuts from the loan repayments workers make to their retirement plans, a federal judge ruled. ( Bloomberg Law )

• A conservative advocacy group called for a government oversight agency to review the National Labor Relations Board inspector general’s handling of a recent ethics probe involving a Republican board member, former Littler Mendelson partner William Emanuel. ( Bloomberg Law )

• A Texas federal judge temporarily stayed his contempt order against a Chipotle employee and her lawyers from Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, and Outten & Golden LLP, made after they disobeyed the judge’s injunction to withdraw her overtime lawsuit. The judge refused to shield associates from the order. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

Laterals, Moves, Law Firm Work

• Former Treasury Department tax policy official Dana Trier is returning to at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP’s tax department in New York as counsel. Trier left the government after he criticized Trump’s tax law. He was previously a partner at the firm. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• Three intellectual attorneys left Dechert LLP in Paris, to join Dentons’ Paris IP and technology practice: Marianne Schaffner joins as partner, Pierre-Olivier Ally joins as of counsel, and Clemence Boland joins as an associate. And more recent moves at IP firms. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor.