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Wake Up Call: Big Firms, ACLU Get Millions in Fees in Census Litigation Win

Oct. 2, 2019, 11:55 AM
  • Covington & Burling, Arnold & Porter, and the ACLU were among beneficiaries as the federal government agreed to pay $6.65 million in legal fees stemming from the Trump administration’s failed effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. (National Law Journal)

  • McGuireWoods reached outside the legal profession to hire its new chief operating officer, getting veteran operations executive Richard Davis to replace Bob Couture, who’s leaving to be a fellow at Harvard Law School Center. Davis, who most recently was a managing director at Navigant Consulting Inc, becomes one of the few black chief operating officers of a major law firm, McGuireWoods said. ( (

  • Washington, D.C., law-firm leaders are optimistic despite a tighter market, according to a new survey. (BLAW via BLB)

  • Four Big Law firms advised in a major steel deal announced yesterday. U.S. Steel Corp., advised by Milbank, said it agreed to pay $700 million for a 49.9% ownership stake in Big River Steel, which was represented by BakerHostetler. Jones Day and Debevoise & Plimpton also advised in the deal, which gives U.S. Steel an option to buy the rest of the Arkansas company, according to reports. (

  • Robert Mueller III is rejoining Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, where he was a partner before being appointed special counsel to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election. (BLAW via BLB)

  • Orrick grabbed a veteran trial lawyer from Davis Wright Tremaine, Jeff Coopersmith, a former federal prosecutor who among other things currently represents ex-Theranos President and COO Sunny Balwani in a high-profile federal prosecution headed for trial next summer. Coopersmith, who will be a partner in Seattle, brings a white collar team with him. (

  • Seward & Kissel hired former Goodwin Procter investment management and financial services partner Robert M. Kurucza in Washington. Kurucza, a former federal regulator in the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Securities and Exchange Commission, was earlier a Morrison & Foerster partner. (

  • Hunton Andrews Kurth added Baker McKenzie partner and global cartel task force leader Craig Y. Lee as a partner in Washington. Lee, who spent 13 years as assistant chief and prosecutor in the Justice Department’s antitrust division, will head his new firm’s cartel and antitrust investigations team. (

  • Loeb & Loeb added entertainment and sports lawyer Derek Crownover plus five key members of his team for its music row practice in Nashville. Crownover was previously at Dickinson Wright, where he was entertainment law practice chief. (Billboard)

  • Harvard University’s admissions program “passes constitutional muster,” a court ruled, as the school beat an anti-affirmative action group’s lawsuit yesterday. But the decision is almost certain to be appealed. (BN via BLAW)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Bass, Berry & Sims announced it hired sports and media and IP lawyer Marc Ackerman, a former partner at O’Melveny & Myers and White & Case, whose outside clients have included the National Football League, National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, ESPN, Time Warner, and others. Most recently top lawyer at mass-participation sports event company Tough Mudder Inc., Ackerman joined Bass Berry as counsel in New York. (

  • Three Crowns LLP, a global arbitration law firm that launched in 2014, said it opened an office in Bahrain, led by founding partner Jan Paulsson, moving from Washington, and partner Scott Vesel, relocating from London. (


  • Haynes and Boone is representing Houston-based Contango Oil & Gas Company in its agreement to acquire $132 million for the assets of White Star Petroleum LLC and certain affiliates, as part of White Star’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy (

  • TCG Capital Management, advised by Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, invested $83 million for a majority stake in New York-based kitchen and home brand company Food52, advised by Lowenstein Sandler. (PE Hub Network)

Laterals, Moves

  • Sidley Austin got two renewable energy veterans from Bracewell as partners in its energy and infrastructure practice. Jessica Adkins, who was chair of Bracewell’s power projects practice, joins in Houston. Ron Erlichman, who was co-chair of Bracewell’s project finance practice, joined in New York. (

  • Sidley also added EU transactional and financial services regulatory attorney Kolja Stehl as a partner working from Munich and London. He arrives from Shearman & Sterling. (

  • Munger Tolles & Olson said former federal prosecutor Robyn Kali Bacon returned to the firm as a partner in L.A. Bacon, whose practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, trials, and investigations started her legal career at Munger in 2007, and left for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2011. (

  • Hartford, Connecticut-based Shipman & Goodwin added trusts & estates lawyers Suzanne D. Kitchings and Edward (Ted) B. Potter, who had their own firm Kitchings & Potter LLC. They arrive as counsel, bringing two paralegals. Their firm’s Old Lyme, Connecticut, office is now part of Shipman & Goodwin, from which several of the firm’s trusts and estates lawyers will work. (

  • Former Delaware Court of Chancery clerk Nicholas D. Mozal joined Potter Anderson & Corroon in Wilmington as counsel in the firm’s corporate litigation practice. (


  • Goodwin Procter promoted 33 lawyers, including 13 women, to partner. (

  • Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel promoted four lawyers to partner, including three women. (

Legal Actions, Bankruptcies, Decisions

  • Buchalter got a win for Hyundai Motor America and Hyundai Motor Company in a $40 million product liability trial in California Superior Court special verdict, case No. BC570364. (


  • An Elizabeth Warren presidency would create major but winnable “legal challenge” for Facebook, Zuckerberg told employees in a leaked recording. (BN via BLAW)

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at; Molly Ward at