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Wake Up Call: Bryan Cave to Exit Moscow, Other Firms Hesitate

March 10, 2022, 2:01 PM

In today’s column, aircraft lessors face a legal quagmire to repossess jets from Russia; Gibson Dunn had its 26th straight year of revenue growth in 2021; Morrison & Foerster’s revenues rose 6% to $1.23 billion.

  • Leading off, the list of Big Law firms closing offices in Russia continues to grow. Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner said in a emailed statement that, “After very thorough, careful thought and consideration, BCLP is ceasing its operations in Moscow in response to Russia’s ongoing actions in Ukraine.” (BLAW)
  • Skadden Arps said it is relocating its Moscow-based lawyers outside of Russia for their safety, but it’s apparently keeping the office open. (The Lawyer) DLA Piper, which has offices in Moscow and St. Petersburg, said it is “undertaking a strategic review of our presence in Russia.” Hogan Lovells said it is keeping its Moscow office open but “monitoring the fast-evolving situation.” (Roll Call)
  • Under international sanctions that hit Russia, global aircraft leasing companies face a deadline to repossess hundreds of jets worth over $10 billion. But the companies may be in for long legal fights to actually get the planes. (Reuters via Business Insurance)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • In 2021, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s revenue grew 14.8% to $2.48 billion, fueled by surging demand. Average profits per equity partner increased 7.6% to $4.4 million. (American Lawyer) Morrison & Foerster revenues rose 6% to $1.23 billion and its average PEP expanded 10% to $2.46 million. That’s below California averages but MoFo says it focuses on the “long game.” (The Recorder)
  • Philadelphia-headquartered Blank Rome’s core corporate and business practices powered gross revenues up 13.3% to $547.6 million, while average PEP gained 12.6% to $1.225 million. (Legal Intelligencer) Locke Lorde’s revenues rose 5.8% to $510 million. Its average PEP rose 17.1% to $1.259 million, as its equity partnership dropped by 36. (Texas Lawyer)
  • Cadwalader, Dechert, and Schulte Roth & Zabel are the latest firms to match the Cravath scale for associate pay. Litigation boutique Kellogg Hansen, beat the scale. (Above The Law)

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • Sheppard Mullin recruited a five-person life sciences and FDA regulatory team from Loeb & Loeb, led by partner Scott Liebman. He chaired Loeb’s Food and Drug Administration regulatory practice and co-chaired its life sciences practice. Liebman arrives in New York and will co-lead Sheppard Mullin’s life sciences team and FDA regulatory team. Joining him from Loeb are partner Dominick DiSabatino based in Washington, while special counsel Eve Costopoulos joins in New York; Sidley Austin grabbed Winston & Strawn securities regulation and enforcement attorney Joanna Rubin Travalini as a partner in Chicago; Dechert brought in former Goldman Sachs executive Edward “Jay” Southgate as an asset finance and securitization partner in New York. (Dechert)
  • Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr got commercial litigator and business lawyer Jon Singer as a partner in Baltimore. He arrives from Nelson Mullins; Nixon Peabody snagged two corporate partners from DLA Piper in New York. They include Kevin Grant, who was a Nixon Peabody associate earlier in his career, and Daniel Belostock; Dykema hired two labor and employment attorneys as senior counsel in Michigan. Charlotte Carne joins from her own boutique firm in Ann Arbor and Brett Gelbord from Troutman Pepper in Detroit. (Dykema)
  • Ex-Big Law patent attorneys Michael Kiklis and Kimani Clark launched a boutique patent firm, Kiklis and Clark, based in Alexandria, Va.; Houston-based Bracewell promoted six attorneys to senior counsel in Texas and New York. (Bracewell.com)
  • Digital insurtech company NEXT Insurance hired industry veteran Jennifer Lawrence as its first general counsel. She was previously chief legal officer and general counsel at Noblr, a personal auto insurtech company that recently got bought by insurance group USAA; Mitek Systems, Inc., which provides mobile capture and digital identity verification solutions, hired tech industry in-house leader Scott Marcus as senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary. (Businesswire) The National Women’s Soccer League named a former Big Law attorney and later National Lacrosse League executive, Jessica Berman, to be its new commissioner. (Associated Press via NBCSports)

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