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Wake Up Call: Covid Will Boost Medtech Defense, Greenberg Lawyer Says

July 1, 2020, 12:53 PM

In today’s column, law firm mergers will be dramatically down in the year’s second half because of Covid-19, a report predicts; lateral hiring is down also, but some firms are still active in the market; six Big Law firms collaborated to develop a guide to help arbitrators boost their use of tech; Mintz started an e-data consulting group; a #MeToo lawyer said he will file an objection to Harvey Weinstein’s proposed $18.9 million settlement with some of Weinstein’s alleged victims; Baker McKenzie’s Chicago office has a new leader.

  • Leading off, Greenberg Traurig shareholder Sara Thompson, vice chair of the firm’s pharmaceutical, medical device & health care litigation practice, said in a recent interview that she expects that, as the world “desperately” seeks help from medical companies for devices, drugs, and vaccines to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, her medtech defense practice could benefit. “I think it’s changing public perceptions in a way that once we get to trials will also be interesting. There’s going to be a lot of reverberations of this for a long time,” she said. (Medical Design & Outsourcing)

  • The first half of 2020 had 26 law firm mergers, down from 30 in the same period last year. But the pandemic is expected to dramatically reduce the number of law firm mergers for the rest of the year, a new report says. (American Lawyer)

  • DLA Piper and Baker McKenzie joined the list of major firms that have either cut or held flat their salaries for newly qualified attorneys in London and the rest of the U.K., in cash-saving moves due to the pandemic. (Law.com International)

  • Lowenstein Sandler, Mintz, Cozen O’Connor, and Haynes and Boone are among firms that have stayed active in the lateral hiring market despite the Covid-19 economic crisis. (American Lawyer)

  • As Covid-19 cases soar around the country, states are increasingly under pressure to waive the bar exam for new law school graduates (BLAW)

The Legal Profession Reacts to George Floyd Protests, Systemic Racism

  • Suspended Pryor Cashman lawyer Colinford Mattis and his alleged sidekick in the firebombing of an NYPD vehicle during George Floyd protests can be released to home confinement, a federal appeals court ruled yesterday. They’ve both pleaded not guilty to arson, use of explosives, among other charges. (New York Law Journal)

  • A Black former DLA Piper and Pepper Hamilton corporate lawyer talked about motivations for his move from Big Law to working for a boutique corporate law firm in Philadelphia. “Black lawyers make up about 3-4% of the legal profession, so the percent of Black lawyers that become partner at a corporate firm is minuscule,” he said. (Legal Intelligencer)

  • The PayItForward initiative is signing up in-house attorneys to mentor Black attorneys, as part of an effort to promote diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. So far, 900 people have volunteered, a report says. (Corporate Counsel)

  • Corporate Counsel Women of Color said its annual career strategies conference, sponsored by Hogan Lovells, this fall will be open to virtual participants. (PRNewswire.com)

  • Two Saint Louis lawyers made the news after waving guns at passing protesters. (Above the Law)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • #MeToo lawyer Douglas Wigdor is challenging Harvey Weinstein’s proposed $18.9 million settlement with over half a dozen women who accused the ex-movie mogul of sex assault and mistreatment. (Bloomberg News)

  • McGuireWoods got about $480,000 for its work representing Vice President Pence in the Mueller Russia special counsel investigation, with that money coming from a dozen donors, including major GOP contributors and longtime allies, the Post reported. (WaPo)

  • Baker McKenzie’s Chicago office has a new leader: mergers and acquisitions partner David Malliband. (BLAW)

  • Mintz launched an e-data consulting group that it says aims to advise on using sophisticated analytics and artificial intelligence technology to automate “every phase of e-data lifecycle,” from document analysis for corporate transactions to eDiscovery for investigations or litigation. Led by Mintz attorney and managing director John Koss, the group’s lawyers and tech specialists will advise clients ranging in size from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, the firm said. (Mintz.com)

  • Lawyers in Washington D.C. can take cryptocurrency as payment for legal services as long as the fee agreement is fair and reasonable and the lawyer can safeguard the virtual property, a D.C. Bar opinion says. (BLAW)

  • Williams & Connolly and Foley & Lardner represented Booking.com in its big U.S. Supreme Court trademark win yesterday (BLAW)

Laterals, Moves

  • London-founded Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer hired five Silicon Valley attorneys from large U.S. firms to create a new northern California office. (BLAW)

  • Hogan Lovells’ corporate and finance practice added a three-partner team from Sheppard Mullin in Shanghai, China. According to his LinkedIn, Don Williams was Sheppard Mullin’s Shanghai managing partner and legal committee co-chair. Tony Mou, and Cheng Xu, also made the move. (HoganLovells.com)

  • Sidley Austin private equity co-chair Erik Dahl and Christian Iwasko, co-head of Sidley’s European corporate and private equity group, have left the firm after arriving from Kirkland & Ellis four years ago. (The Lawyer)

  • Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath hired a team of five restructuring associates from Sidley Austin in the London office. It got two partners from Sidley in early June. (Law.com International)

  • McDermott Will & Emery got Quinn Emanuel’s insurance coverage and reinsurance litigation co-chair, Jane M. Byrne, as a partner. (MWE.com)

  • FisherBroyles, which describes itself as the world’s first and biggest “distributed” firm, said via email that media law partner Cynthia L. Counts joined the firm in Atlanta, from Duane Morris, where she was chair of the media and communications practice. (LinkedIn.com)

  • The intellectual property practice at San Diego-founded Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch added a seven-lawyer team of patent attorneys from Arent Fox, including two partners, Jonas Hodges in Palo Alto, and Sheree Rowe in Orange County. (The Recorder)

  • Carlton Fields hired worklaw attorney Amanda M. Brahmin Hartford, Connecticut as an associate. Brahm focuses on representing educational institutions. (CarltonFields.com)

In-house

  • Providence Health & Services, a nonprofit Catholic health care provider based in Washington state, hired veteran in-house leader A. Verona Dorch as executive vice president and chief legal officer. Dorch, who spent six years at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman earlier in her career, has been top lawyer at industrial company Harsco Corporation and most recently at Peabody Energy. (BLAW)

Promotions

  • Davis Polk promoted eight lawyers to partner across its corporate, litigation, and financial institution practices. Three of the promoted are women; seven are in New York, one in Washington. (DavisPolk.com)

Technology

  • Hogan Lovells said it collaborated with five big firms—DLA Piper; Latham & Watkins; Herbert Smith Freehills; Ashurst; and CMS—to develop a protocol to help arbitrators use technology for meeting data management and cybersecurity obligations related to use of online case management platforms. (HoganLovells.com)

To contact the correspondent on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at rMitchell@correspondent.bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com; Darren Bowman at dbowman@bloomberglaw.com

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