Wake Up Call: D.C. Policy Shifts Fuel Firms’ Lobbying Revenue

Oct. 22, 2021, 12:21 PM

In today’s column, the University of Florida’s law school got another $40 million from the estate of its namesake alumnus; federal authorities accused a New York litigation funder and others in an alleged insurance fraud scheme; Orrick is expanding the racial justice fellowships it started last year.

  • Leading off, Big Law firms’ lobbying business is booming in Washington as Congress considers policy changes in several areas, according to reports. Recent third quarter filings under the Lobbying Disclosure Act show Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck had the most revenues with $13.9 million, up from $12.5 million the same quarter last year. Akin Gump, Holland & Knight, and Squire Patton Boggs also showed solid gains compared with last year. (Politico)
  • K&L Gates said in an email that it had its best D.C. lobbying quarter ever, with $5.4 million in the third quarter, up 18% from the same quarter last year. “It is hard to top last year’s work load dealing with the pandemic,” said Karishma Page, co-leader of K&L Gates’ public policy and law practice. But, she added, “the new Congress and the new administration continue to take actions that potentially affect our clients, including those relating to trade, supply chains, vaccine mandates, climate change, health care, taxation.” (National Law Journal)
  • California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye said the pandemic revealed that remote proceedings provided a new source of access to justice, and the state’s judiciary has no intention of giving them up. (The Recorder) Trial lawyers disagree over whether Covid-19 has changed jurors’ perception of scientific and medical testimony. (Law.com)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Federal authorities announced mail and wire fraud charges against a New York litigation funder and others in an alleged $31 million trip-and-fall insurance fraud scheme. (Justice.gov)
  • Orrick said it is expanding the racial, social and economic justice fellowship program it started last year amidst Black Lives Matter protests across the country in the wake of George Floyd’s killing by police. (Reuters)
  • U.S. trademark applications are trending down for five consecutive months in 2021 in a possible sign of economic headwinds, an analyst writes. Trademark applications from China are also down. (World Trademark Review)

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • After 19 years at Boies, Schiller Flexner, business and real estate litigation partner Steven Davis jumped to litigation boutique Haber Law in Miami; Barnes & Thornburg recruited veteran Big Law white collar litigation partner Eric Sussman as a partner in Chicago. He’s a former Illinois federal prosecutor, financial crimes deputy chief; Schiff Hardin added three corporate lawyers including New York-based counsel Andy Banks, from Ulmer & Berne. Two associates joined in Chicago, including Cody Boender, a former general counsel for technology services company Impact Networking, and Darcy Lee from Paul Hastings; Reed Smith hired two advertising, brand and data privacy lawyers from Loeb & Loeb in Chicago, Monique Bhargava as partner and Idara Udofia as counsel. (ReedSmith.com)
  • McDermott Will & Emery grabbed veteran U.S. capital markets, corporate finance, and financial regulatory lawyer Siddhartha Sivaramakrishnan as a partner in its new office in Singapore. He joins from Herbert Smith Freehills; Kirkland & Ellis snagged Freshfields private equity lawyer Hendrik Braun in Munich, Germany; DLA Piper’s Brazil branch, Campos Mello, grabbed a five-partner team with expertise in oil and gas, maritime, environmental, litigation and arbitration. They arrive from Mayer Brown’s Brazil unit. (DLAPiper.com)
  • Financial services transactional lawyer Bonnie Michael, who was Volvo Financial Services’ vice president and general counsel for the U.S. for over a decade, joined Baker Donelson as a shareholder based in Baltimore; alternative dispute resolution services provider JAMS said retired California Court of Appeal justice David A. Thompson joined its panel in Orange County, Calif.; New York health-care firm Garfunkel Wild followed a major client to Florida, opening an office in Fort Lauderdale led by partner Amanda S. Bhikhari, a former hospital system associate general counsel. (Daily Business Review)

Legal Education

  • The University of Florida Levin College of Law said it’s getting a $40 million donation from its namesake, the late alumnus and trial lawyer Fredric G. Levin, on top of $20 million he’d already given to the university. (Law.UFL.edu)

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

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