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Wake Up Call: Canadian Firm Gowlings to Combine with U.K. Firm

July 8, 2015, 12:44 PM

Below is the latest list of the top news in the legal industry.

• The Canadian law firm Gowlings plans to link up with U.K.-based Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co. to create a firm with global ambitions. The new firm Gowling WLG is to have over 1,400 legal professionals working in 18 cities across Canada, the U.K., Europe, Asia and the Middle East. (WSJ)

• Growing experience has helped the U.K.'s financial regulatorknown as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) — to get better at what it does. The FCA is deciding criminal cases almost 25 percent faster than it did four years ago, taking 31.7 months to resolve cases in the year that ended in March, compared with 41.6 months for the 2011-12 year. (Big Law Business)

• How much does a summer associate at Cravath Swaine & Moore cost? In the Energy Future Holdings bankruptcy, the interns at Cravath cost $295-an-hour . (BreakingViews)

• Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer on Tuesday announced modest gross revenue gains for fiscal 2014-2015 ,while its Magic Circle rival Clifford Chance announced a slight decline in revenues for the same period. Their announcements come on the heels of results statements in recent days from several other major British law firms, including Allen & Overy, Ashurst, Linklaters, Pinsent Masons, among others . (American Lawyer)

• The Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday reinstated a malpractice suit alleging that Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP failed to warn clients about the $3.7 billion Ponzi scheme set up by Tom Petters because it didn’t notice warning signs. Convicted on 20 counts of conspiracy, wire and mail fraud in 2009 by the U.S. District Court in St. Paul, Minnesota, Petters is serving a 50-year sentence. (Law360)

• When tobacco companies Reynolds American and Lorillard Inc. combined in a $25 billion deal that closed in June, Lorillard’s lucrative lobbying contract went to ITG Brands, a subsidiary of the British company. Lorillard’s legal advisors at Greenberg Traurig went along with it, and now work for ITG Brands . (Washington Post)

Lateral Moves

• Amidst a growing recruiting spree, McDermott Will & Emery has hired products liability specialist Terrence Dee, a longtime partner at Kirkland & Ellis. Dee is McDermott’s 16th lateral hire since April and the third partner to join McDermott’s Chicago office during that time. (Big Law Business)

• Mark Perlow, a former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission senior counsel, is joining Dechert’s San Francisco office as a partner in the firm’s financial services and investment management practices. Perlow is leaving K&L Gates, where his clients included hedge fund managers, mutual funds and other investment entities. (The Recorder)

• In its 12th lateral hire for 2015, Palo Alto firm Sidley Austin has added a new corporate partner , Martin Wellington, who counsels technology and private equity firms on joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, and private and public offerings. He leaves Davis Polk & Wardwell after more than 15 years. (The Recorder)

Technology

• Four Silicon Valley general counsels are preparing a panel to discuss cybersecurity, human resources, and other constantly changing threats and opportunities that GCs in the area face daily. (Legaltech news)

• To get better electronic discovery services in cases, law firms should consider revising their approach to choosing legal technology vendors, starting with more targeted requests for proposals. (Legaltech news)

• A columnist says recent “ultra-conservative” tweets by a Gordon & Rees senior partner illustrate how older attorneys’ plodding efforts to use social media can hurt the firm’s image. (Above the Law)

Miscellaneous

• Advising the elderly. A new book by an attorney who previously worked as a nurse offers guidance and insights for legal, business and financial professionals who have elderly clients .(Big Law Business)

• A criminal investigation in Portugal is targeting law and accounting firms of car dealerships for alleged criminal association, tax fraud and money laundering. (Portugal News Online)

• Some 1,000 U.K. criminal law firms will lose legal aid work this year, and others will see their fees slashed about nine percent, as a part of a consolidation drive by the U.K. Ministry of Justice. (The Global Legal Post)