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Wake Up Call: Big Firm Delays Associate Start, Blames Slowdown

Sept. 29, 2022, 12:19 PM

In today’s column, UK telecom giant Vodafone hired a new general counsel; victims’ families filed lawsuits against Smith & Wesson in the Highland Park Fourth of July shooting; and a Miami private equity firm is funding a new Arizona law firm.

  • Leading off, Silicon Valley firm Gunderson Dettmer has postponed the arrival of its first-year associates, citing a “significant” slowdown in its demand. The firm, which adopted the Cravath pay scale for associates in March, is delaying the planned Oct. 31 firmwide start date to Jan. 17, 2023. The move comes as legal recruiters say that “demand for associates no longer exceeds supply,” Above The Law reported. (Above The Law)
  • Vodafone Group hired EasyJet general counsel Maaike de Bie to replace retiring general counsel and company secretary Rosemary Martin. (The Lawyer)
  • Law firms Romanucci & Blandin, Paul, Weiss, and Everytown Law are jointly representing families of victims in civil lawsuits accusing gunmaker Smith & Wesson Brands Inc. of liability in the deadly Fourth of July parade shooting in Highland Park, Illinois. The suits also named the accused shooter, his father, a gun retailer and gun dealer. (Chicago Suntimes)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Alternative legal service providers, which includes the Big Four accounting firms, are branching out to meet growing demand for tech advice and consulting, among other areas. (Financial Times)
  • Dallas-based midsize firm Munck Wilson Mandala said it opened a Boca Raton office to serve a growing number of its high-tech clients in the area and to hire local legal talent. The firm said it also plans to open an office in Miami. (Daily Business Review)
  • An Arizona lawyer turned to Miami private equity firm 777 Partners for funds when he created Scout Law Group under the state’s new rules allowing nonlawyer owners of law firms. (Arizona Business Journal)

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • Kirkland & Ellis in London grabbed Allen & Overy funds and asset management partner Paul Sampson as a partner in its investment funds group; Orrick poached Jones Day projects and infrastructure partner Karthik Kumar as a renewable energy and infrastructure partner in Singapore; Shearman & Sterling brought in former New York federal prosecutor Patrick Hein as a litigation partner in San Francisco. A former O’Melveny & Myers litigation counsel, he was recently deputy section chief, business and securities fraud in United States Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of New York; Weil, Gotshal & Manges said real estate attorney Pejman Razavilar, an associate at the firm earlier in his career, returned as a partner in its New York and Miami offices. He was recently a partner at McDermott Will & Emery. (Weil, Gotshal & Manges)
  • Womble Bond Dickinson hired former Exxon Mobil in-house intellectual property attorney Kristian Sullivan as of counsel in Houston on the firm’s patent prosecution & litigation group on the mechanical team. He joins recently from Conley Rose, where he was principal; New York headquartered Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle hired corporate lawyer Stuart Davies, former general counsel of The Red Sea Development Company, as a partner in its Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, office; Lathrop GPM promoted its Denver-based tech services director Adam Yantorni to chief information officer. (Lathrop GPM)
  • Legal tech platform Reynen Court Inc., which recently announced an online public stock offering aimed at lawyers, promoted its head of strategy Christian Lang, a former Davis Polk corporate attorney, to president and chief operating officer. It promoted its head of operations and security, Lodewijk Bonebakker, to chief compliance and security officer; Miami-based commercial litigation firm Levine Kellogg Lehman Schneider + Grossman hired business litigator Erin Bohannon, recently vice president and general counsel at real estate developer firm Terra Group, as a partner; Littler said employment litigation shareholder Eric Mack, based in Providence, Rhode Island, was named deputy general counsel, labor and employment, for the National Bar Association. (Littler)

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