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Wake Up Call: Employees ‘Avoid’ In-House Legal, Survey Finds

May 10, 2022, 12:56 PM

In today’s column, Norton Rose Fulbright matched Cravath’s scale for associate pay; eying the economy, law firms are expanding in bankruptcy and other “counter-cyclical” practices; an appeals court granted a retrial because of Zoom snafus.

  • Leading off, most enterprise employees responding to a recent survey said they consider their in-house legal departments “protectors of the business,” but most also said they do not consider legal “a good business partner” and would avoid consulting them when possible. Research firm Provoke Insights on behalf of enterprise legal management software company Onit surveyed 4,000 enterprise employees and 500 corporate legal pros across the U.S., France, U.K. and Germany. (
  • Norton Rose Fulbright matched the Cravath scale for associate salaries, which runs from $215,000 to $415,000 depending on seniority. The new scale only applies to some of its offices and comes with a tougher billed hours threshold for eligibility, this report says. The firm also announced its 2022 bonus scale. (Above The Law)
  • With M&A volume cooling off from pandemic highs, Big Law firms may find they have too many transactional attorneys. Meanwhile, analysts and other observers say law firms have been adding talent in bankruptcy, white-collar work and general litigation to handle an increase in work they anticipate for those practices as the overall economy cools. (American Lawyer)
  • Massachusetts’ top appeals court granted a re-trial after technical problems caused a woman in a parental rights case to miss almost an entire day of testimony. (National Law Journal)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • As elite London-based firms Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Freshfields, Linklaters, and Slaughter and May contend with Big Law’s talent shortage, these so-called Magic Circle firms have promoted a record 152 lawyers to partner overall this year, up from 119 in 2021. (City A.M.) And in another move aimed at retaining talent, transatlantic firm Hogan Lovells raised bonuses for U.K. associates and made its calculation system more flexible. ( International)
  • A record number of intellectual property lawyers and law firms provided pro bono advice to inventors and small businesses in 2021, according to government data. (
  • A Texas judge received a public reprimand for reportedly having two lawyers handcuffed to the jury box in a courtroom. (Southeast Texas Record)

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • New York-based Willkie, Farr & Gallagher hired a private equity lawyer in Houston but lost one, too. Willkie hired Kris Agarwal, who after stints at two Big Law firms, was general counsel for Platinum Equity LLC and spent 10 years as managing director and GC for Lime Rock Partners; after about a year at Willkie, Jesse Myers moved to Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher as a partner. He earlier spent close to a decade at Latham & Watkins; Faegre Drinker brought in former pension fund chief legal officer Tiffany Reeves as an investment management partner in Minneapolis; Reed Smith expanded its energy transactions team, getting environmental lawyer Peter Trimarchi as a partner in New York. He joins from Nixon Peabody, where he led the environmental and land use team; ArentFox Schiff securities counsel Johnathan Duncan moved to Haynes and Boone as partner in New York. (
  • Gordon & Rees added medical and dental malpractice and insurance defense attorney Jason Zivkovic as a partner in Pittsburgh; Allen & Overy recruited Big Law diversity & inclusion pro Dennis Quinio, self-described “former lawyer,” as chief diversity, equity & inclusion officer for the Americas based in New York. He arrives from Milbank; Hilbert Group AB, an investment firm focused on digital assets and blockchain technology, hired online gaming in-house veteran Mark Adams as chief legal officer. Adams was recently head of legal for William Hill International, a global online gambling company based in London; Baker Botts named Palo Alto office partner-in-charge Cheryl Cauley head of litigation in its San Francisco and Palo Alto offices. (


  • Intapp, a Palo Alto-based maker of cloud-based software for the professional and financial services industry, launched a collaborative matter life-cycle management platform for corporate in-house legal departments. (

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer in New York at; Darren Bowman at