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Wake Up Call: Dealmakers Eye Ruling on AT&T-Time Warner Deal

June 11, 2018, 11:24 AM

• Comcast, Verizon, Cigna, and CVS Health will be among those watching closely when U.S. District Judge Richard Leon hands down his decision on AT&T’s proposed $85.4 billion takeover of Time Warner Tuesday. ( Bloomberg ) Disney, 21st Century Fox, T-Mobile, and Sprint will be watching, too, as Leon’s decision could have a major impact on deals involving them as well. ( New York Times DealBook ) How will the judge rule? A look at possible scenarios. ( Bloomberg )

• Accounting giant KPMG gets hit with a 3.2 million pound ($4.28 million) fine and reprimand by the UK accounting authority over its audit work for an insurance tech company now under criminal investigation in an accounts scandal. ( Financial Times )

• Ogletree Deakins, Akin Gump, King & Spalding, and Hooper Lundy & Bookman are among the law firms with highly specialized health-care practices that represented the biggest U.S. for-profit health-care system, HCA Healthcare, in federal litigation in 2017. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• A federal appeals court voided Jones Day’s $307,000 attorneys’ fee award for representing CVS Pharmacy in adispute the company won against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. ( National Law Journal )

• General counsel at financial services companies had their hands full last week dealing with enforcement actions in Australia, France, Switzerland and the U.S. ( Corporate Counsel )

• Greenberg Traurig hired the chief of Fried Frank’s intellectual property litigation practice, Scott Doyle, who is leaving that firm after three years. Doyle will lead Greenberg Traurig’s International Trade Commission practice as part of its global IP & technology practice group, and said he may recruit other Fried Frank lawyers to join him. ( American Lawyer )

• California utility PG&E could face criminal charges and other legal problems after a probe cited evidence of legal violations by the company in the Northern California fires that killed dozens and racked up some $10 billion in damages. ( Bloomberg )

• Litigation finance has long been banned in many jurisdictions, but lately it is becoming more widely permitted. With that expansion comes an evolving landscape of new federal and state regulation governing the sector. ( Above the Law )

Lawyers and Law Firms

• Paul Weiss is conducting an independent probe forthe NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers after the team’s president of basketball operations, Bryan Colangelo, lost his job last week. Colangelo left amidst accusations that his wife’s anonymous social media posts defending him included confidential team information. ( New York Times )

• A senior counsel to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is leaving the agency to take a job as the first general counsel of the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission. Sarah Greenwalt, said to be among the EPA officials who received huge raises without White House approval, is set to start her new job June 25. ( Business Insurance )

• The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency named two new deputy chief counsels to start in mid-June. Bao Nguyen was senior counsel in the Federal Reserve Board’s legal division, while Ted Dowd led the OCC’s securities and corporate practices division. The OCC still seeks a permanent chief counsel to replace Karen Solomon, acting chief counsel, who plans to retire at the end of August. ( Bloomberg Law )

• Some law and accounting firms have spun off their non-professional activities into separate entities to exploit the 20 percent deduction for pass-through businesses in President Trump’s tax law. But new expected IRS guidance will eliminate that loophole, an official said. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• Atlanta-based labor and employment firm Fisher & Phillips named Southern California-based partner Regina Petty as its first chief diversity officer. ( The Recorder )

Legal Actions

• A federal judge cleared the way for Snapinvestors to go forward with claims they were deceived when the social media company went public last year. ( Bloomberg )

• Companies that plan to file initial public offerings face additional financial reporting hurdles this year thanks to President Trump’s tax law and accounting rule changes. ( Bloomberg Law )


• Victims of data breaches could sue companies without showing harm under a bill advancing in the California Legislature. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• Northwestern Pritzker School of Law plans to host the first global Legaltech Venture Day on its Chicago campus June 15, in collaboration with the Law Schools Global League, Madrid-based law school IE, and Madrid law firm Ontier. At the event, legal tech startups will present projects to a panel of judges, innovators, legal tech experts, and law firm partners, who will pick a winner. ( )

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor.