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Wake Up Call: Big Law Sees ‘Record’ Progress on Diversity Front

June 1, 2022, 1:13 PM

In today’s column, law firms are getting “generous concessions” from their landlords; a former Gibson Dunn litigation partner was appointed a federal magistrate judge in Brooklyn, N.Y.; and a new report says Asian Americans have been “under siege” since the pandemic started.

  • Leading off, American Lawyer said its diversity scorecard report for 2022 finds “record” progress, with the overall percentage of minority attorneys across firms rising from 18.5% in 2021 to 20.2% in 2022. The metric ranks racial and ethnic diversity in firm leadership as well as among equity partners and other attorneys at the country’s biggest law firms. Fragomen led all firms, with White & Case, Kasowitz, Munger Tolles and Cleary Gottlieb making up the rest of the top five. (American Lawyer)
  • Law firms are getting “generous” concessions from landlords, including rent abatements and space improvements, real estate consultant Colliers says. Concessions are highest in the Northeast, with firms getting an average $109 per square foot in tenant improvements and 12 months free rent. (Globe St.com)
  • Kirkland & Ellis recently handled two property deals worth about 5 billion pounds ($6.29 billion), amid revived international interest in the UK market. (Law.com International)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • The American Asian Pacific Islander community has been “under siege” since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new report by the Asian American Bar Association of New York. The report counts close to 11,000 anti-Asian hate incidents nationally between March 19, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2021. The group is recommending changes to bail reform policies to keep people convicted of hate crime off the streets, among other moves. (Asian American Bar Association)
  • Taylor English Duma is the latest firm said to be looking to set up in Miami. The Atlanta-headquartered firm is reportedly recruiting around six attorneys with expertise in areas including tax and corporate finance. (South Florida Business Journal)
  • Former Gibson Dunn white-collar and civil investigations litigation partner Lee Dunst has been appointed federal magistrate judge in the Eastern District of New York. (USCourts.gov)
  • Morgan & Morgan attorneys won a $7.1 million verdict against Home Depot USA Inc. after others turned the Florida case down. (Daily Business Review)

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • Polsinelli hired Armstrong Teasdale intellectual property partner Michael Longmeyer, a NASA engineer earlier in his career, as a shareholder in St. Louis; DLA Piper grabbed Kirkland & Ellis tax partner Aalok Virmani as a partner in Chicago advising in DLA’s finance and investment management practices; Snell & Wilmer snagged Polsinelli litigation and insurance recovery shareholder Jonathan Brinson in Phoenix as a partner in its special litigation and compliance group. (SWLaw.com)
  • On-demand legal services provider Latitude hired former Ogletree Deakins employment senior counsel Anne McKnight as director of legal recruiting and placement in its Nashville office; Paris-based LPA-CGR avocats hired litigator and regulatory attorney Kosuke Oie in its Tokyo office. (LPALaw.com)
  • Eversheds Sutherland recruited hospitality industry attorney Wendy Hansen as counsel in Atlanta. The former Kirkland & Ellis associate arrives from Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, where she was vice president and legal counsel for the Americas; Zoned Properties, Inc., a real estate development firm for emerging and highly regulated industries including legalized cannabis, hired Arizona-based Rose Law Group real estate transactions attorney Daniel Gauthier as chief legal officer. (Profiles in Legalization)

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