Wake Up Call: Boeing Faces Legal Risks as U.S. Joins Countries Grounding Flagship Plane

March 14, 2019, 11:56 AM
  • The U.S. yesterday became the latest country to ground Boeing Co.’s top-selling 737 Max family of airliners, citing evidence that a flight that crashed Sunday in Ethiopia may have had the same problem as a plane that went down five months ago off Indonesia. (BN) With the number of countries that have grounded the planes growing, Boeing could face big legal troubles. (Law.com)

  • Willkie Farr & Gallagher placed co-chair Gordon R. Caplan on leave over his alleged involvement in a college admission bribery scandal that has snared giants of finance and law. (BLAW via BLB) (NYT)

  • The scandal highlights collateral risks for lawyers. (BLAW) Meanwhile, Latham & Watkins attorney Perry J. Viscounty said he is representing sitcom actress Lori Loughlin in the scandal. (BLAW via BLB) Parents who allegedly paid bribes disguised as donations in order to get their children into elite colleges may face steep tax penalties. (BTAX)

  • Thousands of foreign firms in China could be hit by big changes this week to the country’s investment laws, lawyers say. “Some of the world’s largest automobile makers and chemical companies, among other international businesses, will be impacted,” said Paul McKenzie, managing partner at Morrison Foerster’s Beijing office. (BN)

  • New York-based Debevoise & Plimpton’s gross revenue increased 13 percent in 2018 to a best-ever $929 million, while profits per equity partner climbed to $3.265 million, up 15.5 percent, according to early data. (New York Law Journal)

  • Spotify Technology filed an antitrust complaint against Apple Inc. at the European Commission. (BN)

  • Morrison & Foerster hired the Securities and Exchange Commission’s former San Francisco regional office head, Jina Choi, as a securities, enforcement, and white collar defense partner based in San Francisco. (MoFo.com)

  • Wall Street firm Sullivan & Cromwell doesn’t make a lot of lateral hires, but it recently made a significant one, adding Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton bankruptcy partner James Bromley to co-lead its global restructuring practice. (New York Law Journal)

  • Neomi Rao, the Trump administration’s top regulatory official, was confirmed to the appeals court seat vacated by now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. (BLAW) Paul Noe, the leading candidate to succeed Raoat at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, said Wednesday he had withdrawn his name from consideration. (BGOV)

Lawyers, Law Firms, Deals

  • Former Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Democratic member Chai Feldblum surprised many with the recent announcement that she had joined Big Law management-side firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. (BLAW via BLB)

  • Several Big Law firms advised in a deal in which Brookfield Asset Management will acquire about 62 percent of Oaktree Capital Management. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Munger, Tolles & Olsen advised Oaktree. Weil, Gotshal & Manges and Torys LLP advised Brookfield. Mayer Brown advised a special committee of Oaktree’s board of directors. (BN) (Globe Newswire)

  • Locke Lord said insolvency and restructuring lawyer David Grant has been appointed managing partner of its growing London office. He’s a member of the firm’s executive committee and regional practice group leader for Europe and Asia/Pacific Rim. (LockeLord.com)

  • Hughes Hubbard said it advised menswear designer brand John Varvatos on a deal in which it is launching a new line of clothing tied in with the HBO series Game of Thrones. (HughesHubbard.com) (TheWrap)

  • DLA Piper represented wholesale data center company Stack Infrastructure in a $850 million issuance of asset-backed secured notes to build more data centers. (DCD.com) (DLAPiper.com)

  • Texas-based Haynes and Boone launched its 2019 energy roundup report. (HaynesBoone.com)

  • U.K. elite firm Linklaters signed a lease to move its New York office down Sixth Ave. a few blocks, to new space in 1290 Sixth Ave, where Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner also has offices. (Crain’s New York Business)

  • A lawyer for Harvey Weinstein, Lewis Brisbois partner Elior Shiloh, reportedly argued in court that Weinsten’s casting couch behavior did not rise to the level of sex trafficking. (Vulture)

Laterals, Moves, Promotions

  • Scott Boalick, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ’s acting chief judge since September 2018 and a patent judge for over a decade, has been named the agency’s new chief judge overseeing administrative patent challenges. (BLAW)

  • Hogan Lovells hired environmental litigator Jennifer Adams, who was chief counsel of litigation for Koch Companies Public Sector, as a partner in the firm’s Houston office in its environment and natural resource practice. (HoganLovells.com)

  • After less than a year at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, tax lawyer Timothy A. Gustafson is returning to Eversheds Sutherland in Sacramento, California, as a partner in its state and local tax practice. A former U.S. Army Judge Advocate, Gustafson previously practiced at Eversheds Sutherland from 2012 to 2018, including four years as counsel. (US.Eversheds-Sutherland.com)

  • Longtime DLA Piper partner Ryan M. Leaderman joined Holland & Knight’s L.A. office as a partner in the firm’s West Coast land use and environmental practice group. (HKlaw.com)

  • Trial firm Weinberg Wheeler Hudgins Gunn & Dial said litigator Stephen A. Walsh joined the firm as a partner in Birmingham, Alabama, arriving from Adams and Reese. (WWHGD.com)

  • Dykema said former Democratic policy adviser in the Michigan House of Representatives, attorney Tracy D. Winston, joined its government policy & practice group as a government policy adviser. (Dykema.com)


  • #TwitterLaw symposium: On April 5, the University of Idaho College of Law, the Idaho Law Review, and two law professors are holding a second symposium to explore the “perils and pitfalls for legal discourse of lawyers on social media.” (UIdaho.edu)

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com; Molly Ward at mward@bloomberglaw.com

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