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Wake Up Call: Brown Rudnick Settles Botched Bankruptcy Suit

Jan. 28, 2021, 1:29 PM

In today’s column, Saul Ewing cited the pandemic for its decision to not hold a 2021 summer associate program; Locke Lord’s new video introductions for lateral hires are an innovation likely to catch on; King & Spalding poached another partner from Boies Schiller; California’s top court refused the appeal of a prominent judge ousted after sexual harassment allegations against him.

  • Leading off, Brown Rudnick’s bankruptcy practice leader, Edward Weisfelner, is retiring as the firm settles a $300 million malpractice lawsuit over a big mistake for which he had been blamed. But the firm said his departure and the settlement are not connected. (American Lawyer)
  • Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr decided not to hold a summer program in 2021, because of problems created by the Covid-19 pandemic, legal blog Above the Law reported. Saul Ewing is apparently the first firm to take that step. (Above the Law)
  • A Chicago-based trial firm is questioning Big Law’s litigation tactics during the pandemic. (BLAW)
  • Locke Lord has begun using videos to introduce new lateral hire partners, a new marketing approach inspired by obstacles that Covid-19 has raised to in-person meetings. It’s an innovation that looks likely to catch on, legal marketing pros said. (Texas Lawyer)
  • Morrison & Foerster is paying special appreciation bonuses to its U.K. associates, according to a report from London. (The Lawyer)
  • White & Case’s London office has been hit by several recent partner exits amidst complaints of a toxic work environment. (Law.com International)
  • A New Jersey criminal defense lawyer, challenging the state’s Covid-related pause on jury trials, wants the court to either try his client promptly or drop the Medicare fraud charges against her. (New Jersey Law Journal)
  • Big Law firms have been slow to adopt litigation funding and the pandemic probably has something to do with that, a report says. (BLAW)

Biden Administration, Election Litigation, Fallout From Capitol Riots

  • Former President Donald Trump added another South Carolina lawyer to his legal team for his Senate impeachment trial, getting ex prosecutor-turned-criminal defense lawyer Deborah Barbier. (CNN)
  • Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance is leading a criminal probe that could be dangerous for Trump and his family. But filing charges against a former president would also be risky for Vance. Several law firms mentioned in this story. (Financial Times)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • The Coca-Cola Company is launching one of the legal industry’s most demanding outside counsel diversity programs. (BLAW)
  • King & Spalding’s recent experience recruiting a star M&A rainmaker partner who left a couple of years later illustrates risks that come with the potential gains for firms making big money lateral hires. (American Lawyer)
  • DLA Piper said it launched a program to recruit associates in Latin America in an effort to establish a team of multilingual lawyers to serve its growing base of clients who have legal needs in the region. (DLA Piper)
  • California’s Supreme Court yesterday refused to hear the appeal of Justice Jeffrey Johnson, the former Los Angeles appellate court judge who was removed following sexual harassment allegations against him by court employees and colleagues. (BLAW)
  • Reed Smith is the latest firm to offer lawyers up to 50 billable-hours credit for work done to promote diversity and gender equality in the law. (BLAW)
  • Buchalter said J. Craig Cartwright, co-chair of the firm’s REIT transactions and compliance industry group, officially started as office managing shareholder in Arizona. (Buchalter)

Laterals, Moves

  • Cooley hired Citi managing director Jeff Grossman as chief strategy and legal practice officer, based in Reston, Va. At Citi, Grossman was New York-based global head of business development and advisory for the bank’s law firm group. (Cooley.com)
  • Boies Schiller’s administrative partner in London, international arbitration attorney Ken Beale, is jumping to King & Spalding’s Washington office. King & Spalding has poached 24 lawyers from Boies in the last year. Boies New York business litigation partner Jack Stern is heading to Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft (American Lawyer)
  • Cozen O’Connor added veteran insurance litigator Wendy B. Hall as a member in Houston. (Cozen.com)
  • Bankruptcy lawyer Mark Shapiro, a veteran in-house restructuring leader at several financial institutions, is rejoining Shearman & Sterling as a partner and chair of the firm’s financial restructuring and insolvency group in New York, and as a member of its executive committee. (BLAW)
  • Davis Polk & Wardwell is getting Nicholas Palumbo, the head of White & Case’s Americas private credit and direct lending practice, as a partner in New York. Palumbo is Davis Polk’s second lateral hire since it moved to a modified lockstep compensation system in part to better compete for talent. (BLAW)
  • K&L Gates got intellectual property lawyer Brenna K. Legaard as a partner in Portland, Ore. She arrives from Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, where she was technology group leader. (KLGates.com)
  • Norton Rose Fulbright today got veteran fintech in-house leader Santo Manna as a senior counsel in New York. He’s also licensed in Ontario and speaks English, French, and Italian. (NortonRoseFulbright.com)
  • BakerHostetler recruited former Polsinelli intellectual property shareholder Timothy Worrall as a partner in Denver and San Francisco. (Bakerlaw.com)
  • Holland & Hart said former U.S. Attorney for New Mexico John Anderson is rejoining the firm in Santa Fe as a litigation partner. (HollandHart.com)
  • Blank Rome got corporate, M&A, and securities associate Peter Melampy in New York from Willkie Farr & Gallagher. (BlankRome.com)
  • Crowell & Moring’s global policy and regulatory affairs affiliate—Crowell & Moring International LLC—appointed health-care attorney Nicholas Diamond as a director focused on global health and regulatory policy. (Crowell.com)
  • Holland & Knight added public policy specialist Suzanne Joy as a senior public affairs adviser in the firm’s health and life sciences policy team in Washington. (HKLaw.com)

In-House

  • Pet product retailers BarkBox Inc. and Petco Health and Wellness Inc. got new top lawyers. (BLAW)

Promotions

  • Nixon Peabody promoted nine lawyers (four women) to partner effective Feb. 1, across several practice areas and offices. (NixonPeabody.com)
  • Philadelphia-headquartered Stradley Ronon promoted five lawyers (two women) to partner in Philadelphia, New York, and Cherry Hill, effective Jan. 1. (Stradley.com)

Legal Education

  • The Berkeley Research Group’s annual class action conference is virtual this year and starts today at noon. (ThinkBRG.com)

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; Darren Bowman at dbowman@bloomberglaw.com

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