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Wake Up Call: CBS Hires Two Big Law Firms to Investigate Moonves Allegations

Aug. 2, 2018, 10:59 AM

• CBS hired former federal prosecutor Nancy Kestenbaum, of Covington & Burling, and former SEC Chair Mary Jo White, of Debevoise & Plimpton, to investigate sexual harassment allegations against CEO Leslie Moonves. ( Bloomberg ) Meanwhile, the L.A. District Attorney’s office declined to prosecute Moonves for alleged sex crimes in the 1980s, citing the statute of limitations. ( NBCNews )

• Tech giants including Facebook Inc. and Google could take a huge hit to their wallets after a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that said Intel can’t lower its corporate tax by deducting stock payments made to employees. An appeal is possible in that case, however. “This is a big Silicon Valley issue and there is a lot of money at stake,” said David Fischer, a tax litigator at Crowell & Moring. ( Bloomberg )

• The job market for recent law-school graduates looked “surprisingly strong” in 2017, the National Association of Law Placement says in a recent report. The “employment outlook for recent law graduates looks brighter (if not exactly rosy) than it has at any time since 2008,” the NALP said. ( )

• DLA Piper-client New York University defeated a $385 million class action accusing it of violating federal benefits law by allowing high-fee investments in its employees’ retirement plans. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )( )

• Cravath notched a pair of major antitrust wins at the Supreme Court, one for American Express and the other Time Warner. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• Withers said it acquired JAG Shaw Baker, a U.K. tech law firm with six partners and a 40-person team overall, to create a legal offering that will advise entrepreneurs, investors, and technology companies worldwide. ( )

• Former Skadden partner Greg Craig and two others are under investigation by Manhattan federal prosecutors for possible unregistered foreign lobbying work, after a referral by special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. Craig, who left Skadden in April, reportedly managed Alex van der Zwaan, the former London-based Skadden associate who pleaded guilty to lying to Mueller’s investigators. ( National Law Journal )

Lawyers and Law Firms

• Cooley said it advised electronic signature company DocuSign on its $220 million acquisition of SpringCM. The Cooley team was led by partner Jamie Leigh, associate Anne Lieberman, and special counsel Laura McDaniels. ( San Francisco Business Times )

• Morrison & Foerster said it represented internet communications company Vonage Holdings in its $35 million acquisition of programmable video services companies TokBox, Inc. and TokBox Australia Pty Ltd., from Telefónica Digital Ltd., a subsidiary of Telefonica S.A. Goodwin Procter advised Telefonica. ( Vonage )

Laterals, Moves

• Cooley said it expanded its Beijing office with corporate partner Henry Yin, who focuses on mergers and acquisitions and arrives from Kirkland & Ellis. ( )

• Morgan Lewis poached WilmerHale partners Eric Hwang and Christopher Rose as corporate transactions partners in California. Hwang, formerly inhouse at Oracle Corporation and later a White & Case partner, will be based in Silicon Valley and San Francisco. Rose, who was also previously at White & Case and was inhouse at Fidelity National Financial, will be in Century City and Silicon Valley. ( )

• Snell & Wilmer said former Hogan Lovells senior counsel Chantell Taylor joined its Denver office as a partner in its government relations, regulatory, and administrative law practice. Most recently Taylor was a government relations manager at Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. ( )

• Locke Lord named Boston-based veteran corporate and securities lawyer Stan Keller as one of its three firmwide senior partners. ( )

• Foley Gardere said it hired Baker McKenzie IP partner Guy Birkenmeier for the firm’s technology transactions & outsourcing practice as a partner in Dallas. ( )

• Greenspoon Marder said its corporate & business practice group added M&A partner Sander C. Zagzebski in Los Angeles.Zagzebski, a former Latham & Watkins associate, arrives most recently from Ervin Cohen & Jessup. ( )

Legal Actions

• A federal judge ordered the Trump administration to stop giving psychotropic medications to migrant children without consent from their parents or guardians. ( Washington Post )


• London-based legal collaboration software platform HighQ Solutions Ltd. said it acquired U.S. rival Legal Anywhere Inc. ( KM World )

• Social news aggregator site Reddit was hacked by attackers who managed to get around strong two-factor authentication measures by spoofing cell phone numbers to log into employee accounts. ( CNBC )

Legal Education

• Big Law firms hire graduates from prestigious law schools because they want to impress potential corporate clients, this report says. ( U.S. News & World Report )

• The U.K. Solicitors Regulation Authority named education services giant Kaplan to develop and run a planned solicitors’ “super-exam” for new lawyers. ( The Lawyer )

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor.