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Wake Up Call: Deutsche Bank Won’t Pay for Junior Lawyers

March 22, 2017, 12:18 PM

• Deutsche Bank said it will stop paying law firms for work done by their most junior lawyers. The move, coming as the bank reviews its roster of go-to firms, is an apparent first for a bank in Europe. ( Legal Week )

• Preet Bharara, the fired U.S. attorney in Manhattan who made his reputation as a corruption buster and Wall Street enforcer, is joining the New York University School of Law as a distinguished scholar. ( Bloomberg via BLB )

• U.K. firm DLA Piper said it’s going to close its office in the republic of Georgia, after its 11-lawyer team left to join Dentons. That’s twice this week that DLA has announced plans to downsize in Europe. ( The Lawyer )

• The U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday curbed the president’s power to appoint someone to fill a top government post temporarily while the person awaits Senate confirmation. The ruling, in a company’s challenge to an Obama-era appointment to head the National Labor Relations Board, raised questions about decisions made by temporary federal government appointees going back to the late 1990s. ( Bloomberg )

• President Donald Trump said during his campaign that AT&T Inc.’s proposed takeover of Time Warner Inc. should be blocked. His pick to lead the Justice Department’s antitrust division doesn’t seem to agree. ( Bloomberg via BLB )

• Last year’s exit of a group of veteran celebrity-divorce lawyers from Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman, a New York firm led by longtime Trump lawyer Marc E. Kasowitz, stemmed from an internal dispute over conflicts of interest linked to a $35 million real estate suit. ( New York Times DealBook )

Gorsuch Hearing

• In his second day of Senate confirmation hearings, Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court Judge Neil Gorsuch said he would have no trouble ruling against either political party. Video. ( Bloomberg ) Gorsuch said he would not hesitate to rule against Trump if the law required it, and he restated his criticism of the president’s personal attacks on judges who ruled against him. ( New York Times )

• Gorsuch denied being biased against class actions and contentions that he usually finds against the “little guy.” ( National Law Journal )

• Senate Democrats shouldn’t question Neil Gorsuch’s qualifications; rather, they should go after the “illegitimate farce” that got him nominated in the first place. ( Above The Law )

• Gorsuch has consistently erected judicial roadblocks in front of environmental litigation. ( Mother Jones )

• Gorsuch is said to be hostile to the Chevron Doctrine. A Q&A on what that means. ( Bloomberg )

Law Firm Business

• At Vinson & Elkins, gross revenue grew in 2016 4.2 percent to a $654 million, while profits per partner gained 7.4 percent from 2015’s mark, to $2.025 million. The Houston-based firm’s chairman, Mark Kelly, credited the firm’s strength in complex commercial litigation, a range of transactional practices and rising oil prices. ( Texas Lawyer )

• Washington, D.C.,-based Arent Fox shrank in headcount last year, but it continued its string of growth-positive years that started in 2009, with gains across its real estate, international trade, automotive, bankruptcy, complex litigation and white-collar practices. The firm’s gross revenue ticked up to $284 million, while profits per partner grew 7 percent from 2015, reaching $1 million. ( National Law Journal )

Legal Market

• U.S. authorities plan to file criminal charges against Malaysian financier Jho Low in a money laundering probe linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd, according to a report. ( Wall Street Journal )

• Payless Inc., the struggling discount shoe chain, is said to be preparing to file for bankruptcy as soon as next week. ( Bloomberg )

• The European Union signaled its intention to keep Theresa May waiting before engaging in negotiations over the U.K.’s exit from the bloc, in an early indication of how the British prime minister will see leverage slipping away as soon as she files for divorce. ( Bloomberg )

• U.K. authorities will assess a report in the Guardian newspaper that almost $740 million of laundered cash from Russia passed through British banks, Treasury Minister Simon Kirby said. ( Bloomberg )

President Trump’s First 100 Days

• Trump announced his first circuit judge nomination, naming Judge Amul Thapar, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. ( National Law Journal )

• A growing number of Republicans are urging Trump to retract his claim that he was wiretapped during last year’s election after FBI Director James Comey said there was no evidence to support that accusation. ( Bloomberg )

• Senators at the confirmation hearing for Trump’s second choice for labor secretary, Alexander Acosta, will have questions about an unusually light plea deal Acosta oversaw for a billionaire sex offender while U.S. attorney in Miami. ( Washington Post )

• Text messages stolen from the daughter of a Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort Jr., are raising questions about work that Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom did in Ukraine. Manafort Jr.'s daughter is a former associate at Skadden. ( Am Law Dail y ) The Associated Press says documents show that Manafort secretly worked for a Russian billionaire a decade ago and proposed a political strategy to influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, among other places, to help promote the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin. ( AP via CNBC )

Happening in SCOTUS and Other Courts

• The U.S. Supreme Court, ruling in a case involving adult diapers, gave some patent holders more time to file infringement lawsuits. ( Bloomberg )

• Philadelphia’s top prosecutor has previously acknowledged taking more than $100,000 in gifts from friends and associates, but is vowing to fight federal charges that he promised help with any court cases or legal matters in return. ( AP via Bloomberg )

• A Manhattan federal judge sentenced oil industry investor Morris Zukerman to 70 months in prison for evading $45 million in taxes, and fined him $10 million. ( AP via Bloomberg )

• Hundreds of relatives of people killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have sued Saudi Arabia, joining many others who have tried to hold the kingdom responsible for the attacks. ( Bloomberg )

• Former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, an ally of Donald Trump, is fighting extradition from exile in Miami in a case linked to a partner in the law firm at the heart of the Panama Papers tax evasion scandal. ( Bloomberg )

• A former trader at DBS Group Holdings Ltd.’s brokerage unit was sentenced to 16 weeks in jail after being convicted in Singapore’s first criminal spoofing case. ( Bloomberg )

Laterals, Moves, Law Firm Work

• Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan said it has a new office in Perth, Australia, and said it hired former Herbert Smith Freehills partner Paul Evans to join the office later this month. ( The Lawyer )

• McDermott Will & Emery and Reed Smith Tuesday announced hires to expand their investment funds practices in New York City. McDermott hired Ian Schwartz, a former partner at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson. Reed Smith added King & Wood Mallesons international investment funds partner Parik Dasgupta. ( New York Law Journal )

• Florida-founded Holland & Knight said it hired Meital Stavinsky, a Hebrew-speaking government relations attorney, as a partner and co-chair of its Israel practice, working in its offices in Miami and Washington, D.C. ( Daily Business Review )

• Singapore-based joint venture law firm Duane Morris & Selvam LLP promoted its managing director Leon Yee to chairman, a role that includes managing the firm’s Asian offices and planning Asian expansion. ( Conventus Law )

Technology

• What’s up with the new U.S. and British rules barring laptops and other electronic gadgets in carry-on luggage on flights originating in 10 Middle East airports? A Q&A. ( Bloomberg ) The ACLU and others are saying the new rules are just a new way to target Muslims in the wake of the failure of Trump’s two travel bans to clear federal courts. ( ZDNet )

• Google said it has overhauled its policies in response to advertiser anger over offensive videos on YouTube, giving marketers more control over their online ads after a slew of brands halted spending in the U.K. ( Bloomberg )

• Uber Technologies Inc. said it plans to outline diversity goals and publish the results of a sexual harassment investigation over the coming weeks, part of a commitment to fix its corporate culture. ( Bloomberg )

• Twitter has suspended more than 500,000 accounts since August 2015 as it tries to “combat violent extremism,” according to a transparency report it released Tuesday. ( Vocativ )

Legal Education

• Dean David Faigman of UC Hastings College of the Law has shone a light on the “sanctimonious hogwash” that California bar members have used to defend the state’s draconian bar exam. ( Above The Law )

Miscellaneous

• Authorities in Beijing are fighting toilet paper thieves by installing toilet paper dispensers equipped with facial recognition software in restrooms. ( New York Times )

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Casey Sullivan.

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