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Wake Up Call: Baker McKenzie Clears $3 Billion Revenue Hurdle

Oct. 1, 2021, 12:30 PM

In today’s column, four firms are advising in Merck’s $11.5 billion buy of drugmaker Acceleron; Big Four accounting giant EY hit up Novartis to grab a leader for its global managed legal services offering; Loeb & Loeb is offering fertility and family-planning benefits to lawyers and staff.

  • Leading off, Baker McKenzie reported Thursday that its global revenues rose 7.8% to $3.1 billion for its fiscal year ending June 30, its first time over the $3 billion mark. The Chicago-based firm, the biggest U.S. firm by lawyer head count, said its profits per partner soared 41.5%. It cited over 30% growth in its private equity transactions work and strong performances from its employment & compensation and dispute resolution practices. (Baker McKenzie)
  • Big Four accounting company EY said it poached the legal and compliance services delivery manager of health-care giant Novartis to lead its own global legal managed services business. Santosh Singh, who was global director for systems and technology at Novartis, will oversee EY teams across 12 locations in seven countries. EY said Singh has previously worked at tech companies Axiom, Infosys, Dell and Intec. (EY.com)
  • Loeb & Loeb, in partnership with specialized service WINFertility, is offering new pandemic benefits for its lawyers and staff, including fertility and family planning help. (Above The Law)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Baker Botts publicly committed to tying compensation for its practice group leaders or partners to their efforts to promote diversity and inclusion, as part of the firm’s participation in Diversity Lab’s new diversity initiative, a report says. (Reuters) Fox Rothschild partner and chief diversity officer Kimberly Bullock Gatling says law firms have to hold themselves “accountable for including diverse attorneys of all backgrounds in firm leadership.”(World Trademark Review)
  • Covington & Burling advised pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. on its $11.5 billion acquisition of rare-disease drugmaker Acceleron Pharma Inc. Gibson Dunn & Crutcher advised Merck on antitrust aspects of the deal. Ropes & Gray advised Acceleron, while Skadden, Arps, advised Centerview Partners LLC and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, which were financial advisors to Acceleron; Hogan Lovells advised pharma company Eli Lilly on its framework agreement with the European Commission for supply of its combined monoclonal antibody treatment for Covid-19; Debevoise & Plimpton advised James River Group Holdings, Ltd. on its $345.1 million reinsurance transaction with a captive insurer of Uber Technologies, Inc., related to coverage for Uber’s ridesharing business. (GlobeNewswire)
  • The South Dakota attorney general who killed a man with his car reached a settlement with the man’s widow. (Above The Law)

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • U.S. firms had a busy month of hiring in London in September and they’re still at it in October. Kirkland & Ellis Friday said it poached Linklaters’ financial regulation partner Julia Dixon as a partner in London; Morgan, Lewis & Bockius hired international project finance lawyer Seyfi Can Kandemir in London as a partner. He joins from White & Case. (MorganLewis.com)
  • In New York, Dechert named global finance partner Ralph Mazzeo to lead its asset finance & securitization team; Duane Morris hired four trial attorneys from Eckert Seamans in Pittsburgh and named Kevin Allen as co-managing partner of the office; Saul Ewing hired community association and transactional lawyer James (Jamie) Stevens as counsel in Chicago in its condominium and community associations practice. (Saul.com)
  • Venture capital firm Multicoin Capital hired “crypto-focused” Chapman and Cutler partner Greg Xethalis to be its first general counsel and chief compliance officer. He’s a corporate and fintech specialist and has previously been at Arnold & Porter, Katten Muchin, and Thompson Hine. (Coindesk)
  • Electric vehicle company Workhorse hired former Delphi Technologies top lawyer and compliance chief Jim Harrington as its new general counsel, as part of a management shakeup after missing out on a big contract. (Corporate Counsel) Minneapolis-based Westwood Professional Services, Inc. hired veteran energy and telecom industry in-house leader Patricia Zachary as its general counsel. She’s a former Texas assistant attorney general. (PR Newswire)

Legal Education

  • UC Berkeley School of Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky urged all law professors to boycott events including participation by constitutional scholar John Eastman, who Chemerinsky said, wrote a plan for former President Trump to “overthrow our government.” (Sacramento Bee)

To contact the correspondent on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at rMitchell@correspondent.bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer in New York at copfer@bloomberglaw.com; Darren Bowman at dbowman@bloomberglaw.com