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Wake Up Call: Crypto Compliance Chiefs Fret Over Personal Risks

Aug. 9, 2022, 12:25 PM

In today’s column, listed London law firm Ince has delayed partner payouts due to financial problems; three Big Law firms signed leases for office space in Dallas; and new SEC associate general counsel David Leviss disclosed that he earned $1.5 million in partner pay last year at O’Melveny.

  • Leading off, compliance officers and other legal professionals in the crypto sector say official attention on the rapidly evolving industry has them worried that regulators are willing to hold them personally liable for problems at their firms. (WSJ)
  • London’s most elite corporate firms have tried for decades to get into the lucrative US legal market without great success. Now, a new generation of leaders at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Clifford Chance, and Allen & Overy is trying again in an expensive and risky effort that involves poaching star US talent and opening West Coast offices, among other moves. (Financial Times)
  • Listed UK law firm Ince, whose share price has recently plunged by over 50%, has delayed partner payouts due to financial difficulties, according to a report. (Law.com International) The former director of legal operations at Boston-based legal tech company Notarize said the company has laid off most of its 60-person legal department in the past year. (The Recorder)
  • Dentons said its revenues jumped 14% to about $314.64 million (260.4 million pounds) for its business in the UK, Ireland, and Middle East in its most recent fiscal year. (Global Legal Post)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Former O’Melveny & Myers white collar defense and health care partner David Leviss, now Washington-based associate general counsel at the Securities and Exchange Commission, reported taking in $1.5 million in partner compensation from the firm in 2021. (Reuters)
  • Law firms Dorsey & Whitney and Vedder Price signed new leases and Weil, Gotshal & Manges expanded its lease for office space in The Crescent building complex in Dallas. The building’s owner, Crescent Real Estate, said the three firms’ leases are for 123,000 square feet of space. (Dallas Morning News)
  • A Pennsylvania defense attorney who was earlier a county prosecutor was criminally charged for pressuring clients into sex. (Associated Press via TribLive.com)

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • Covington & Burling hired insurance coverage litigator Darren Teshima as a partner in San Francisco. He arrives from Orrick, where he was co-leader of its diversity, equity and inclusion initiative and former leader of its complex litigation and dispute resolution practice; Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher promoted its New York-based chief diversity officer of the last 11 years, Zakiyyah Salim-Williams, to partner. (GibsonDunn.com)
  • Fox Rothschild hired Tarter Krinsky & Drogin real estate litigator Christopher Tumulty as partner in New York; Troutman Pepper picked up real estate investment trust attorneys Heath Linsky and Mary Katherine Rawls as corporate partners in Atlanta. They come over from Morrison & Foerster; management-side worklaw firm Littler hired former National Labor Relations Board senior field attorney Noah Garber as a shareholder in San Francisco. He arrives from managed health care provider Kaiser Permanente, where he was an attorney and senior investigator; Loeb & Loeb hired computer software engineer Gian Pastore as Web3 manager, a new position to support clients on third-generation web technology, blockchain, cryptocurrency, and other technology initiatives. He is based in Los Angeles. (Loeb.com)
  • Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center hired health care and biotech in-house veteran Rosland McLeod, former K&L Gates partner, as senior vice president, legal and public affairs and chief legal officer starting Sept. 6. She was recently at Denver-based SCL Health System as senior vice president, chief legal officer, and corporate secretary. (PR Newswire)

Legal Education

  • Duane Morris trial partner Joseph West, the firm’s chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, was named chair of the American Bar Association Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar; the council withdrew a resolution to change law school standards focused on diversity and academic freedom. It said more discussion is needed on the measure. (ABAJournal)

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