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Wake Up Call: CBS to Lose Chief Legal Officer Lawrence Tu on March 1

Feb. 28, 2019, 12:47 PM
  • Amidst its legal troubles and other challenges, CBS Corp. is losing chief legal officer Lawrence Tu, who’s exiting that role March 1 but will stay on about two months as a senior adviser to the CEO, according to an SEC filing and subsequent reports. A longtime New York-based partner at O’Melveny & Myers, Tu spent over nine years as Dell’s general counsel and had the same job at NBCUniversal for three years, among other roles. When he joined CBS in 2014, he reported to then-CEO Les Moonves, who left last year in a sexual harassment scandal and has yet to be replaced. (Deadline)

  • In another filing, Wells Fargo & Co. boosted by $500 million its potential legal costs related to government investigations into suspected customer abuses at the bank, and other legal claims. The company’s worst case scenario for legal losses is now as much as $2.7 billion more than what it already set aside by end of December 2018, up from its $2.2 billion estimate from the end of September 2018. (BN via BLAW)

  • Boston-based Brown Rudnick said William Baldiga, managing director of the firm’s litigation and restructuring department, will become chief executive officer when current CEO Joseph Ryan retires on March 15. (American Lawyer)

  • Meanwhile, LeClairRyan shook up its practice leadership after another year of falling revenues and headcount. (American Lawyer)

  • One result of yesterday’s House testimony by ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen is that President Donald Trump’s Morgan Lewis tax lawyer, Sheri Dillon, now faces scrutiny by that chamber, as does former deputy White House counsel Stefan Passantino, now a Michael Best partner and outside counsel for the Trump Organization. (National Law Journal)

  • Kasowitz Benson Torres said top antitrust lawyer Kevin J. Arquit is joining the firm as a partner in New York, arriving from Weil, Gotshal & Manges, where he was a partner and co-head of the global antitrust/competition practice. Arquit was earlier head of Simpson Thacher’s antitrust practice and served as GC and director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition from 1986 to 1992. (

  • Goodwin raided two rival Big Law firms for four partners to expand its international life sciences practice. Michael Shuster, who was co-chair of Fenwick & West’s life sciences practice, joined in San Francisco, as did patent attorney Kevin Kabler, also from Fenwick & West. Corporate and securities attorney Deepa Rich joined in Silicon Valley from Sidley Austin as did corporate transactions attorney Sam Zucker. (

  • Generic drug giant Teva Pharmaceuticals Ltd., advised by Kirkland & Ellis and others, lost its bid to get a federal court to rule on its first-to-file exclusivity rights on a generic version of the blockbuster dry eye drug Restasis. Teva estimates those rights could be worth over $50 million. (BLAW)

Law Firms, Deals

  • BakerHostetler advised Texas-based Ring Energy Inc. in its agreement to acquire North Central basin platform assets--mainly in Southwest Yoakum County, Texas, and East Lea County, New Mexico--from Houston-based Wishbone Energy Partners LLC and affiliates for $300 million. (Oil & Gas Journal) (

Laterals, Moves, Promotions

  • DLA Piper said corporate and securities attorney Joshua Samek joined the firm as a partner and will serve as co-chair of its Miami corporate practice. He arrives from Greenberg Traurig, where he was a member and spent 11 and a half years. (

  • Greenberg Traurig also lost veteran international tax attorney Seth Entin, a Greenberg principal shareholder who after 20-plus years left to join Holland & Knight’s Miami office as a partner in its private wealth services group. (

  • Carlton Fields said litigator Austin Marshall Eason, a former Florida state prosecutor, joined the firm as an associate in Tampa, in the firm’s health care practice. (

  • Indiana-based Barnes & Thornburg added former New York-based White & Case partner John Olivieri, who specializes in estate planning and wealth management, to bolster its national private client services practice. It added former Chicago-based Kirkland & Ellis partner Patrick Sullivan, who advises on deal financing, to its corporate finance practice group. Both are now based in Indianapolis. (

  • Hogan Lovells said it hired experienced railroad partners Kevin Sheys and Ed Fishman to expand its global transportation regulatory practice. The firm said Sheys and Fishman, who arrive from Nossaman LLP, will be based in Washington. (

  • Worklaw firm Jackson Lewis said former Ogletree Deakins partner C. John Wentzell, Jr. joined the firm’s employee benefits practice as a principal in its Greenville, South Carolina, office. He focuses his practice on employee benefits law, ERISA and taxation matters. (

  • JAMS, the alternative dispute resolution services provider, said retired Canadian Justice Hugh L. Fraser joined its panel in Toronto after a 25-year career on the Ontario Court of Justice. Fraser is a former Olympic sprinter and an international expert in sports law. (

  • Plaintiffs firm DiCello Levitt said it launched a New York office, adding to its existing offices in Chicago and Cleveland. The New York office is led by former Husch Blackwell partner Greg Gutzler, a commercial litigator who spent time as a partner at Korein Tillery, and arrived most recently from Elias Gutzler Spicer LLC, a St. Louis litigation boutique he co-founded in 2015. (

  • Wiggin and Dana, a 140-plus lawyer East Coast firm, said former J.P. Morgan Private Bank managing director and wealth adviser Carolyn Reers joined as a private client services partner in its Greenwich and New York offices. She arrives most recently from Norton Rose Fulbright. (

To contact the correspondent on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at; Molly Ward at