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Wake Up Call: DWT Will Require Vaccine Proof to Enter Offices

Jan. 29, 2021, 1:45 PM

In today’s column, the National Conference of Bar Examiners approved a task force’s recommendations for creating a “next generation” bar exam; Squire Patton Boggs hired a global director of talent acquisition as it plans to handle more of its own recruiting; U.K. firm Addleshaw Goddard opened a Paris office with 22 lawyers snatched from U.S. rivals; despite a 2020 full of upheavals, most Big Law firms don’t seem to be changing their partnership strategies.

  • Leading off, Davis Wright Tremaine’s new vaccine policy for employees and lawyers allows for paid time off to get the jab and to recover from side effects. The policy calls for only vaccinated staff to be allowed to enter the firm’s offices or attend firm-sponsored events, “allowing for a reasonable period of time to get vaccinated once eligible.” “In the coming months, proof of vaccination will also be required,” it says.
  • “As vaccines against Covid-19 become increasingly available, we are adopting a policy to safeguard the health of our employees and their families, our clients and visitors, and our communities. We believe it is our responsibility to do our part, and we need everyone’s help to be able to get back to more normalized operations as quickly as we can,” said the firm’s managing partner, Jeff Gray. (DWT)
  • The National Conference of Bar Examiners said it approved a task force’s recommendations for revisions to create the “next generation of the bar exam,” and said it expects their implementation to take four to five years. The task force, in a report issued earlier in January, said states should overhaul bar exams to focus on “lawyering skills” rather than knowledge of niche practices. (NCBex.org)
  • Despite a dramatic 2020, Big Law firms don’t seem to be drastically changing their strategies for 2021 partner classes, some industry observers said. (American Lawyer)
  • DLA Piper’s bonus scale is so “opaque” that some associates at the firm suspect it might be below market scale, a report says. (Above the Law)
  • Some law firms are starting to consider virtual offices because of the pandemic. But it’s not clear the trend will last. (ABA Journal)
  • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s 2021-2025 environment strategy includes plans to slash its use of air travel, as attorneys increasingly interact with overseas colleagues via video call. (Law.com International)
  • Meanwhile, it looks like videoconferencing and other digital marketing tools will remain a big part of client connection post pandemic. (Legaltech News)
  • The shift to remote work forced by the pandemic proved the value of legal operations, their tech-enabled processes, and the professionals that manage them, a report says. (Law.com)

Biden Administration, Election Litigation, Fallout From Capitol Riots

  • Jones Day hired the Trump administration’s former acting general counsel of the Homeland Security Department, Chad Mizelle. (BLAW)
  • Many Kirkland & Ellis attorneys went to work in the Trump administration. So far, few have returned. (National Law Journal)
  • Michigan’s attorney general wants sanctions against attorneys who filed frivolous lawsuits challenging election results. (Detroit Free Press)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Squire Patton Boggs said it hired law-firm focused management consultant Steven Clarke for its new global position of director of talent acquisition. Clarke arrives from management consulting firm Korn Ferry, where he was a senior client partner. Squire said the move follows its decision to do much of its hiring in house rather than using external headhunters and placement agents. “We expect it to be more efficient both in time and money,” a spokesman said in an email. (SquirePattonBoggs.com)
  • DLA Piper’s new chairman Frank Ryan says the firm’s “growth mindset” is setting its compass as it faces the challenge of staying nimble and agile amidst rapid changes in the legal industry, and life. (American Lawyer)
  • BakerHostetler’s health care industry group and employee benefits group formed a team to address strategic issues that employers face when forming and delivering their health plans. (BakerLaw.com)
  • Over 130 top law firms notched a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s latest Corporate Equality Index, which rates businesses’ efforts that affect their LGBTQ employees. (Reuters)
  • Deal Update: Covington & Burling is advising Veritas Capital on government contracts and other regulatory aspects of its $7.1 billion acquisition of information services tech company Perspecta Inc. Schulte Roth & Zabel is also advising Veritas, while Paul, Weiss is advising Perspecta in that deal. (BLAW)

Reports

  • Skadden, Arps published its annual insights report for 2021; Paul Hastings’ latest U.S. IPO market report looks back at 2020 and ahead to 2021; Hogan Lovells posted its 2021 global bribery and corruption outlook; Dechert released its annual survey on securities fraud class actions filed against life sciences companies. (Dechert)

Laterals, Moves

  • U.K. firm Addleshaw Goddard opened an office in Paris, grabbing attorneys from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner and K&L Gates. (The Lawyer)
  • Buchalter is adding two shareholders from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner in its Arizona office: Robert Miller joins the insolvency and financial law practice group and Quinn Wheeler joins the commercial finance practice group. (Buchalter.com)
  • Greenspoon Marder said veteran tax lawyer Jeannette Bond joined the firm as of counsel in its public finance practice group. She arrives after spending over 22 years at McCarter & English. (GMLaw.com)
  • Gunderson Dettmer announced two partner hires: it got executive compensation attorney Romica Singh in New York. She arrives from Cravath, Swaine & Moore. Corporate attorney Heidi Walas joined in its emerging companies practice in its Silicon Valley office, arriving from Silicon Legal Strategy. (Gunder.com)
  • Alternative dispute resolution services provider JAMS said retired New York federal chief magistrate judge Steven M. Gold joined its New York panel. (JAMSadr.com)
  • Kelley Kronenberg added veteran insurance industry in-house attorney Steve Simeonidis as a personal injury partner and business unit leader in Miami. (PRNewswire.com)

In-House

  • PepsiCo, Inc. said in-house lawyer David Flavell takes over March 1 as executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary, from current top lawyer Dave Yawman, who’s retiring after 22 years. Flavell, whose current title is SVP, deputy general counsel and chief compliance & ethics officer, has been at PepsiCo for about a decade. (PRNewswire.com)
  • Entertainment company MRC hired entertainment industry veteran Kenneth Christmas as general counsel based in California. Among his previous roles at studios, production companies, and law firms in a 30-year legal career, Christmas was VP for television business and legal affairs at Lionsgate, in-house leader at MarVista Entertainment, and he started his career as at O’Melveny & Myers. (Deadline)
  • Facebook Inc. hired ViacomCBS compliance chief Henry Moniz as its first-ever chief ethics and compliance officer and brought on two former Big Law litigators. (BLAW)
  • U.K.-based Apperio, a legal spending and matter-tracking platform, appointed a technology entrepreneur and a private equity specialist to its board as the company looks to expand. (Apperio.com)

Legal Education

  • The California Supreme Court approved a plan to let people who narrowly failed the bar exam get licenses as lawyers in the state. (BLAW)

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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