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Wake Up Call: Dentons Delays Opening of Dublin Office, Citing Covid

July 10, 2020, 12:44 PM

In today’s column, a federal judge ordered Jones Day to hand over associate pay data to the six women lawyers suing it for gender bias; some Georgia courthouses are shutting down again after judges and employees tested positive for Covid-19; Pennsylvania and Kentucky are the latest jurisdictions to replace in-person bar exams with online tests because of the pandemic; despite Hong Kong’s political unrest, it was still Asia’s top lateral market last year; a former Big Law associate’s Turbo Tax-like tool is helping young immigrants with filings needed to avoid deportation; Cleary advised Sony on a $250 million investment into Epic Games.

  • Leading off, Dentons, the world’s biggest law firm by headcount, said it is postponing the launch of its new office in Dublin by four months, to September, because of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to reports. Announcing the office in January, the firm said it would target clients in the city’s aircraft leasing, financial services, and technology businesses. (GlobalLegalPost.com) (The Lawyer)

  • U.K. firm Fieldfisher is gradually raising its in-person work capacity to 25% in its London office, which it has kept open in a limited capacity during the pandemic. (The Lawyer)

  • Another U.K. firm, Watson Farley & Williams, said it plans to lay off some personal assistants whose jobs have been made redundant by remote work. Katten Muchin Rosenman said last week that its new Covid-inspired workflow had eliminated need for certain administrative staff positions. (The Lawyer)

  • As U.S. Covid-19 cases hit almost daily records, some Georgia courthouses that had begun restarting court operations are closing again because employees and judges tested positive for the virus. (Daily Report)

  • “It was like nothing I’ve ever experienced and hope to never experience again,” said the top lawyer for a New York hospital and health care system operator, commenting about her work during the pandemic. (Corporate Counsel)

  • Law firms planning to reopen their offices should carefully consider the predicament of associates who are parents of small children, a report says. (American Lawyer)

  • Digital signature company DocuSign Inc. acquired online notarization specialist Liveoak Technologies this week in a $38 million deal. The acquisition comes as more people look to do notarized transactions remotely because of Covid-19. (Bloomberg News)

  • The pandemic has spurred lawyers to finally try legal tech tools like Docusign, as well videoconferencing,and cloud computing remote working tools, writes a lawyer at a practice management software company. (Above the Law)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Despite Hong Kong’s political unrest it remained Asia’s biggest market for legal recruitment, a report says. (The Lawyer)

  • Jones Day must provide six female lawyers suing the firm for gender bias with salary data for all associates who worked in any of its U.S. offices between 2012 and 2018, a Washington federal court ruled yesterday. (BLAW)

  • Perkins Coie said it will donate $2.5 million over the next five years and expand its pro bono efforts and other actions aimed at promoting racial equality and justice. (PerkinsCoie.com)

  • A former Big Law attorney who co-founded a Turbo Tax-like solution to help consumers file for bankruptcy is now using legal tech to help young immigrants called “Dreamers” with filings to avoid deportation. (Legaltech News)

  • Cleary Gottlieb said it is advising Sony Corporation on its agreement to invest $250 million to acquire a minority interest in Epic Games, Inc. (Bloomberg News)

  • Cooley said it advised corporate directory startup Rimeto on its acquisition by workplace collaboration platform Slack. (Tech Crunch)

  • Latin America has made some progress fighting corruption, but corruption risk is still rising in the region, according to Miller & Chevalier’s survey of 1,000 executives and compliance professionals. (MillerChevalier.com)

  • Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal lawyer, is back in jail after violating the terms of his coronavirus home confinement. (Bloomberg News)

  • Former top Manhattan federal prosecutor Geoffrey S. Berman testified to a House committee about the details that led up to his firing by Trump. (New York Times)

Laterals, Moves

  • Polsinelli expanded its employee stock ownership plan practice by poaching two Chicago-based Holland & Knight partners, Gregory Brown and Christopher Buch, who join as shareholders. (Polsinelli.com)

  • DLA Piper got longtime Orrick real estate partner Michael Haworth as a partner in New York. His experience includes working in Orrick’s Hong Kong, Tokyo, and New York offices. (DLAPiper.com)

  • BarkerGilmore, a legal recruiting firm, hired veteran corporate legal executive Audrey Rubin, a legal operations specialist, as a senior adviser. Among other roles, Rubin spent eight years at insurance brokerage giant Aon as vice president and chief operating officer, in its law and compliance department. (BarkerGilmore.com)

In-house

  • Fox Entertainment named a longtime executive at the company, Carolyn Forrest, as vice president, general counsel, of streaming service Tubi, which it acquired in March. Forrest, who’ll be based in San Francisco, started in-house at Fox in 1997 after working at law firms including Skadden Arps, according to reports. (Next/TV)

  • New Jersey-based Misfits Market, which says it rescues and sells “unnecessarily thrown away” fruit and vegetables, has seen demand surge for its subscription-based produce delivery service during the pandemic. It recently hired as its first general counsel Jill Savage, who’s a former Debevoise & Plimpton associate and most recently was managing counsel at eyeglass retailer Warby Parker. (BLAW)

Legal Education

  • With the pandemic intensifying, Pennsylvania dropped plans for an in-person bar exam in September and informed test takers it has switched to an online exam to be given Oct. 5 to 7. A day later, Kentucky canceled in-person exams scheduled for both July and September, replacing them with an online October test. (Law.com)

  • Fourteen law school clinics joined dozens of law firms participating in the ACLU of Louisiana’s Justice Lab” campaign to bring 1,000 Louisiana court challenges to racially motivated stops and seizures, “to test the impact that litigation has on police conduct.” The campaign was first announced last month. (ACLU Lousiana)

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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