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Wake Up Call: Bryan Cave loses former Senator in St. Louis

June 4, 2015, 1:02 PM

Below is a list of the most recent developments in the legal industry:

Former U.S. senator and state attorney general John Danforth exited Bryan Cave — after a career there that dated back to the early 1960s — following friction over his court testimony for a friend’s widow that helped her win a $77 million verdict against Wells Fargo, a firm client. Barbara Morriss last month won a $77 million judgment with the help of Danforth’s testimony, believed to be the largest ever awarded in St. Louis County, in a case in which the bank’s oversight of a family trust was at issue. Wells Fargo was represented by a different law firm but is a major client of Bryan Cave. (ABA Journal)

Greenberg Traurig hired two partners from Clifford Chance’s New York office . Ivan Presant and Joseph Cosentino join Greenberg Traurig as shareholders, specialising in M&A and private equity after joining Clifford Chance together in 2012 from Dewey & LeBoeuf. (The Lawyer)

• McDermott Will & Emery for the first time elected a female lawyer as partner in charge of its Washington, D.C. office . Carolyn Gleason, an international trade lawyer, takes over July 1 for Paul Thompson, who will return to his white-collar practice full time. “I’m at the point in my career where I believe it’s appropriate to give back,” said Gleason, who has been at McDermott for 25 years, leads the regulatory and international trade practice and co-chairs the industry group for food, beverage and agribusiness legal matters. Before joining McDermott, she was a partner at failed firm Heron, Burchette, Ruckert & Rothwell. (National Law Journal)

• A federal judge in San Francisco on Wednesday ruled thatthe estates of bankrupt law firms aren’t entitled to claw back fees from partnerswho take unfinished business with them to their new firms. U.S. District Judge James Donato of the Northern District of California sided with eight big law firms that picked up partners from Howrey LLP, which was forced into bankruptcy in 2011. (The Recorder)

• David Leitch, Group Vice President and General Counsel at Ford Motor Company , suggests lawyers should also dig into a company’s SEC filings.“There’s a lot of information about the business in there, too — information about how we think, how we’re organized, and what our risks and challenges are,” Leitch said. (Big Law Business)

Two former partners testified Wednesday at the Dewey & LeBoeuf criminal trial in New York state court in Manhattan that they were shocked when Dewey & LeBoeuf in 2009 reported to the Internal Revenue Service that it had distributed the capital it owed them, when in fact the capital had not been repaid. Washington, D.C.-based partners, Deirdre Johnson, an insurance arbitrator who left Dewey & LeBoeuf for Crowell & Moring in April 2009, and Fred Reinke, who left the firm in November of that year for Mayer Brown, where he currently serves as U.S. head of insurance litigation. (American Lawyer)

The market research company Outsell reported that the market for ‘information as a legal service,’ in which law firms sell prepared standardized information, often through an online portal, is poised for explosive growth from an estimated $98 million in revenue in 2014 to a projected $176 million by 2017. (Big Law Business)

Xerox Litigation Servicesthis week opened an offshore managed review center outside Delhi, in an effort to offer a “follow the sun” workflow for clients that want a continuous, 24-hour work cycle. (Big Law Business)

• Missouri’s Supreme Court handed down a disciplinary order of two years’ probations to former Lathrop & Gage partner , Allison Bergman, who engaged in an undisclosed personal relationship that was “at times … romantic and sexual” with a client.” The decision was more lenient, however, than the license suspension originally requested by chief disciplinary counsel. (American Lawyer)

• Should law schools grant students academic credit for externships that pay student participants ? The American Bar Association’s Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has debated that question for more than a year, and will take it up once again this week in Minneapolis. (National Law Journal)

• “Putting a lawyer at $1,000 an hour or more is a way for a law firm to state that the lawyer is the best at what they do,” said Tom Melsheimer, managing principal at Fish & Richardson in Dallas, whose hourly rate is $1,105. An informal survey finds at least 70 lawyers in Dallas and Houston charge $1,000 or more per hour, and more than 200 other Texas business lawyers charge an hourly rate between $900 and $995. Just three years ago, the number of Texas lawyers with four-digit hourly rates was few — even though corporate attorneys in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington blew past $1,000 an hour years earlier. (Dallas News)

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