Business & Practice

Wake Up Call: Fired Grammy’s Chief Accuses Greenberg Partner of Harassment

Jan. 22, 2020, 1:54 PM

In today’s column, Chief Justice John Roberts had to scold Democrat and Republican sides for lack of decorum in the first day of President Trump’s impeachment trial. Baker McKenzie is again the world’s top-ranked law firm brand; and several Big Law firms got “perfect” scores for their support of LGBTQ employees.

  • Leading off, Deborah Dugan, who was recently suspended as president and CEO of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, said she was put on leave after accusing Greenberg Traurig shareholder Joe Katz of sexual harassment. The Recorder reports that Dugan, advised by Wigdor, included her allegations in an EEOC discrimination complaint she filed yesterday against the academy, which runs the Grammy Awards. Katz, the academy’s outside general counsel, is founding chairman of Greenberg Traurig’s global entertainment and media practice and founding shareholder its Atlanta office. (The Recorder) (HollywoodReporter.com)

  • Dugan also accused the former CEO of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Neil Portnow, of raping a female recording artist, whom she did not identify. (TheWrap.com)
  • In the first day of President Trump’s Senate impeachment trial, Chief Justice Roberts scolded House prosecutors and Trump’s legal team for calling each other liars. (Bloomberg News) Roberts is getting help from clerk Megan Braun, a 2016 Yale Law graduate, and counselor Jeffrey Minear. (National Law Journal)

  • Baker McKenzie is No. 1 again in Acritas’ latest law firm brand rankings. The rest of the top five is DLA Piper, Clifford Chance, Jones Day,with Allen & Overy and Hogan Lovells tying for fifth. (Acritas)

  • Several Big Law firms got perfect scores in the Human Rights Campaign’s latest assessment of major companies’ support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer employees. (American Lawyer)

  • Nintendo of America, represented by Cooley and other firms, got a Dallas federal judge to reverse iLife Technologies Inc.'s $10.1 million patent infringement verdict over Nintendo’s motion-detecting Wii controllers. (BLAW)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Schiff Hardin added two partners to its finance and restructuring practices. Bankruptcy and restructuring litigator Steven Wilamowsky, who will lead the firm’s restructuring group. joins from Chapman and Cutler in New York. Corporate lawyer Susan Welsh, who advises on financial transactions ranging from $1 million to $3 billion, arrives in Chicago from Honigman. (SchiffHardin.com)

  • McDermott Will & Emery grabbed Greenberg Traurig securities litigator Paul Ferrillo as a partner in New York City. Ferrillo previously served as vice president and general counsel at insurance giant AIG, as head of the directors and officers panel. (MWE.com)

  • Cozen O’Connor got back former litigation partner John McDonald, who spent nearly two decades at Pennsylvania-based construction company Toll Brothers, most recently as top lawyer. McDonald, a former Philadelphia prosecutor previously at Cozen from 1995 to 2002, returns as a Philadelphia-based shareholder. (Cozen.com)

  • Securities and class-action firm Labaton Sucharow is renewing its lease on its Wall Street headquarters but it’s shrinking its space by 13,000 square feet. (Commercial Observer)

  • Morgan, Lewis & Bockius plans to move its headquarters into a new Philadelphia office tower in 2023. (Legal Intelligencer)


  • Virginia-based FinTech firm Far Point, advised by Morgan Lewis, reached a 2.3 billion euro ($2.55 billion) merger deal with Swiss tourism shopping tax refund company Global Blue, and the combined company will list on the New York Stock Exchange. BakerHostetler advised institutional asset manager Third Point LLC in the deal. (PRNewswire) (PYMNTS.com)

  • Sidley Austin represented private equity firm TPG Capital in its strategic partnership with Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, in which TPG agreed to invest an undisclosed amount to fund an expansion of Kelsey’s services and locations in the Houston area. (Houston Chronicle)

  • Sidley also represented SitusAMC, which is a portfolio company of Stone Point Capital and provides services and technology to the real estate finance industry, on its acquisition of tech provider Alan King and Company, Inc. (PRNewswire.com)

  • Deal update: Milbank advised Japanese trading company Mitsui & Co., Ltd. on its agreement to sell to a consortium of equity investors its interests in a New York City-based natural gas plant. Sidley Austin and Holland & Knight advised the consortium on the broader deal for natural gas assets in Astoria, Queens. (Milbank.com) (APG.NL) (SWFInstitute.org)

  • Offshore firm Appleby advised Zedra, a trust, corporate, and fund services specialist, on the closing of its December 2018 acquisitionof JP Integra Group, a Cayman-based provider of fund, corporate and trustee services. (ApplebyGlobal.com)

Laterals, Moves, In-house, Promotions

  • BakerHostetler’s week-old digital assets and data management group added a partner, getting former Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith partner David Sherman in Philadelphia. (BLAW)

  • BakerHostetler also hired first-chair trial lawyers William Oxley, in Los Angeles, and Meghan Kelly in Philadelphia. Both join as litigation practice partners from Dechert, where Oxley was L.A. office managing partner. (BakerLaw.com)

  • Withers added white collar and securities defense lawyer Martin Auerbach, who as a prosecutor in then-U.S. Attorney Rudy Giuliani’s office in the 1980s prosecuted of one of the biggest federal tax evasion cases in U.S. history. He joins Withers as of counsel and leader of the firm’s white collar and Investigations practice in New York. (Withersworldwide.com)

  • Reed Smith hired insurance recovery lawyers Andrew Roman and Richard Ejzak as partners. They join from Cohen & Grigsby in Pittsburgh. (ReedSmith.com)

  • Financial services lawyer Donald Waack, who advises global banks, bank holding companies, and other client institutions, left Mayer Brown to join Morgan Lewis as a partner in Washington. (MorganLewis.com)

  • Veteran Vinson & Elkins litigator William “Bill” Lawler III is joining Blank Rome’s white collar defense and investigations practice group as a partner in Washington. (BLAW)

  • K&L Gates hired Loeb & Loeb sports law attorney Steven M. Olenick as a partner in its corporate & M&A practice in New York. (KLGates.com)

  • DLA Piper grabbed K&L Gates employment lawyer Kim Askew as a partner in Dallas. (DLAPiper)

  • New York-based Kleinberg Kaplan added securities litigator Maya Cater as a partner. She arrives from from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan. (KKWC.com)

  • Bressler, Amery & Ross said it added four attorneys in Fort Lauderdale and Miami to its insurance defense practice in Florida. (Bressler.com)

Legal Actions

  • Student loan servicer Educational Credit Management Corp. is appealing a New York judge’s headline-grabbing bankruptcy discharge of $221,000 student debt owed by a law school graduate who decided to be a tour guide, rather than practice law. (BLAW)


  • An address on the law.com domain, which requires bar license verification to register, could become a must-have for law firms that want to reassure clients about their cyber-security. But that hasn’t happened yet. (Legaltech News)

Legal Education

  • LMU Loyola Law School in Los Angeles is hosting its 15th-annual law school for journalists, June 10-13, 2020, taught by law professors, judges, and prominent attorneys. (LLS.edu)

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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