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Wake Up Call: Delta Variant Looms Over Firms’ Office Returns

July 12, 2021, 12:20 PM

In today’s column, Kirkland & Ellis announced a firmwide plan to bring back personnel in early September; Katten Muchin is facing a huge malpractice case in California; a Greenberg Traurig partner wants to represent Britney Spears in her fight to get out of her conservatorship arrangement.

  • Leading off, Kirkland & Ellis said it plans to bring lawyers and employees back into its offices starting in early September, the latest firm to opt for a fall return, according to a report from London; meanwhile, as Big Law firms continue to announce plans to bring back lawyers and staff from long pandemic shutdowns, the spread of Delta-variant cases of Covid-19 could cause complications. (American Lawyer)
  • New York’s appellate First Department court said it will bring back its three-day-a-week schedule of in-person oral arguments starting with the fall term. It said mask-wearing and other requirements will continue. (New York Law Journal).
  • The construction industry’s litigation nightmare during the pandemic could be business booster for alternative dispute resolution providers. (

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Greenberg Traurig partner Matt Rosengart, a former federal prosecutor, is seeking to represent Britney Spears in her fight to end the conservatorship that has run her life since 2008, the Times reports. (NYT)
  • Katten Muchin Rosenman faces a “landmark” $950 million malpractice suit after a California trial judge rejected a defense request to apply a Washington, D.C., law that could have scuttled the plaintiff’s claims. (The Recorder)
  • The founders of prominent #MeToo law firm Katz, Marshall & Banks say the pandemic year has been the biggest year of their careers. ( Foley & Lardner said it signed a national partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to support the organization’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. ( Steptoe & Johnson LLP said it launched a racial justice fund that will provide financial support to nonprofit organizations. (

Laterals, Moves, In-House

  • Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher hired longtime Latham & Watkins litigation partner James J. Farrell as a partner in New York. Farrell, whose complex civil litigation practice focuses on securities and professional liability, was at Latham for 24 years; Eversheds Sutherland poached Paris-based Cleary Gottlieb tech transaction counsel Emmanuel Ronco as a partner in its IP, technology, and data privacy practice. He arrives with two associates; Michael Best hired intellectual property attorney Deborah Gerhardt, a professor at University of North Carolina School of Law, as of counsel in Raleigh, N.C. (
  • Fried Frank brought back asset management and private equity lawyer Jeffrey Schatz as a corporate partner in New York. He was an associate at Fried Frank for close to five years before leaving to become a partner at Kirkland & Ellis a little over two years ago; Greenberg Traurig added Simpson Thacher & Bartlett corporate counsel James Doyle as a shareholder in Washington; Schiff Hardin added two trusts and estates lawyers: Kevin Matz joined as partner in New York from Stroock and Kiran Uppal joined as counsel in Chicago. (
  • The Washington-based Center for Democracy & Technology hired civil and human rights attorney Sharon Bradford Franklin as co-director of its security & surveillance project. Franklin, a former federal prosecutor and Federal Communications Commission special counsel, was recently executive director of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, an independent federal government agency. (


  • As viable offers proliferate, more law firms, including Crowell & Moring, are turning to outsourced virtual cybersecurity training for their personnel. (Legaltech News)

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at; Darren Bowman at