Bloomberg Law
May 25, 2023, 12:25 PM

Wake Up Call: Big Cities Lead Surge in Partner Billing Rates

Rick Mitchell
Rick Mitchell
Freelance Correspondent

Welcome to Bloomberg Law’s Wake Up Call, a daily rundown of the top news for lawyers, law firms, and in-house counsel.

  • US law firm partner billing rates surged last year across all practice areas and firms, while rates jumped most for M&A partners and in big markets in Chicago, Washington, Los Angeles, and New York. (American Lawyer)
  • Hires of veteran attorneys from the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department have slowed this year as economic uncertainty clouds Big Law’s outlook. (National Law Journal)
  • Top UK law firms see the proposed merger of Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling as a “huge threat.” ( International)
  • Canadian startup Spellbook, an artificial intelligence platform for lawyers, said it took in $10.9 million in funding led by venture capital firm Moxxie Ventures with participation from Thomson Reuters, among others. (Businesswire)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Federal litigation loads in California’s busy Northern District have been fueled by cases involving Bayer AG’s Monsanto and electronic cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. (Law Street)
  • Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson fired his legal team after he was referred for a police investigation of possible new evidence that he broke lockdown rules during the Covid-19 pandemic. (
  • A former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer co-head of tax is set to face a criminal tax evasion trial in Germany starting in September related to the Cum-Ex scandal. (
  • Attorney Kylie Chiseul Kim, who has been on crypto company Ripple Labs Inc.’s legal team in its litigation against the US Securities and Exchange Commission, reportedly filed a motion to withdraw from the case in New York federal court. Kim indicated she’s leaving her law firm, Kellogg Hansen Todd Figel & Frederick, the firm currently representing Ripple Labs. (U.Today)

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • Speciality reinsurance and insurance provider Everest Re Group, Ltd. named retired Freddie Mac legal chief Ricardo Anzaldua, a longtime Cleary Gottlieb partner, as executive vice president and group general counsel effective June 12. (Businesswire)
  • Jenner & Block grabbed Milbank LLP national trial attorney Alex Romain as partner in Los Angeles. During his 17 years at Williams & Connolly, he was a member of the trial team that obtained the voiding of conviction and dismissal of criminal charges against then Alaska Republican Senator Ted Stevens (
  • Ashurst LLP’s Korea joint venture firm hired a four-lawyer corporate transactions team including two partners. (
  • Stinson LLP added real estate and finance lawyer Criston Cicala as partner in New York. He earlier spent five years at Hughes Hubbard and arrives recently from Calhoun, Bhella & Sechrest, LLP, where he was New York office managing partner. (
  • Management-side worklaw firm Littler Mendelson recruited former University of Maine top lawyer Jim Thelen as of counsel in Portland, Maine. He’s also a former associate dean for legal affairs and general counsel at Thomas M. Cooley law school in Michigan. (
  • RealNetworks, LLC, the Seattle-based internet-streaming and software company, said senior vice president and general counsel Michael Parham, is leaving June 30 after 20 years at the company, which recently went private. (PR Newswire)


  • Debevoise & Plimpton named seven new partners across its New York, San Francisco, and London offices, effective July 1. (


  • Legaltech firm LegalConnect launched an integrated payment processing solution for litigation support services firms. (Pymnts)

Legal Education

  • Latham & Watkins announced a 2023 summer associate class that includes 313 law students in its London and US offices. (
  • Big plaintiffs firm Morgan & Morgan launched a $2 billion summer associates program. (National Law Journal)

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer in New York at; Darren Bowman at

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