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Wake Up Call: Firm Ditches UAE Partner Over Anti-Gay Tweets

Sept. 12, 2022, 12:30 PM

In today’s column, Dentons tried again to get Ohio’s top court to review a $32 million malpractice verdict against the firm; a top Trump lawyer is taking a “conciliatory” approach to the former president’s document fight with the DOJ; and White & Case beat an effort to get it disqualified from multibillion dollar litigation.

  • Leading off, Baker McKenzie said Friday that it is “parting ways” with United Arab Emirates partner Habib Al Mulla, founder of its UAE member firm Habib Al Mulla & Partners. (Baker McKenzie) Reports said Baker McKenzie broke with Al Mulla, chairman of the Dubai International Arbitration Center, following anti-gay comments he made on Twitter. (Law.com International) (Roll On Friday)
  • Dentons asked the Ohio Supreme Court to reconsider its recent refusal to review a $32.3 million malpractice verdict in a case with implications for law firms that use a Swiss verein model. (American Lawyer)
  • Several more UK firms have recently raised pay for junior lawyers, but Kirkland & Ellis and Latham & Watkins denied rumors they are raising theirs. (Roll On Friday)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Chris Kise, the former Florida solicitor general who’s now a private attorney advising former President Donald Trump, is trying to “lower the temperature” in his client’s fight with the Justice Department over handling of highly sensitive documents at Mar-a-Lago. (WSJ) Becoming a lawyer for Trump comes with risks. A joke circulating among lawyers recently is that “MAGA” stands for “making attorneys get attorneys.” (NYT)
  • White & Case beat an effort to get the firm disqualified from multibillion dollar litigation. The disqualification motion cited an alleged conflict of interest linked to the firm’s two bankruptcy partners married to each other. (Reuters)
  • A judge awarded $11.3 million in fees to a law firm over the objection of a lawyer who wanted the fees in a food truck explosion case. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • Blank Rome grabbed McGuireWoods corporate finance attorney Mirlande Telfort as a partner in New York in its finance, restructuring, and bankruptcy group; Greenberg Traurig hired global land use attorney Dan Baker in Garden City, New York, as a shareholder and co-chair of its Long Island land use practice; Crowell & Moring said a former attorney at the firm, Maria Alejandra Jana del-Cerro, recently at the US State Department as defense trade controls policy analyst, returned as a partner in Washington in the firm’s international trade and government contracts groups; Baker Botts snagged K&L Gates energy projects attorney Elias Hinckley as a partner in Washington; Loeb & Loeb picked up cybersecurity and privacy litigator Christopher Ott as a partner in Washington; Sullivan & Worcester said tax attorney Sarah Wellings, a former associate at the firm, returned as counsel in Boston after working in-house at Comcast and, recently, at a biomedical research institution as deputy general counsel and chief compliance officer. (SullivanLaw.com)
  • Buchalter launched an equine industry group with over 25 legal professionals, led by four attorneys. They include California-based real estate and business shareholder Peggy Hosking, Portland, Oregon-based employment law shareholder Leah Lively, L.A.-based litigator Danielle Mayer, and L.A.-based intellectual property and corporate attorney Alexandra Bijan Pakzad; Dentons hired commercial litigator Rick Shearer as partner from Shook, Hardy & Bacon in Kansas City, Missouri; Dentons also named business, work-out, and restructuring attorney Andrew Helman office managing partner at its new Portland, Maine location. (Dentons.com)
  • Womble Bond Dickinson opened an office in Huntsville, Alabama, with three government contract partners grabbed from Wilmer & Lee. They include Richard Raleigh Jr., who was co-chair of Wilmer & Lee’s government contracts practice, Chris Lockwood, and Jerome Gabig; Womble also hired Baker Donelson litigator Michael E. Clark as senior counsel in Houston on its business litigation and white collar defense, investigations and regulatory enforcement team; Alston & Bird added consumer finance attorney Aldys London as partner in Washington. (Alston.com)

To contact the correspondent on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at rMitchell@correspondent.bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer in New York at copfer@bloomberglaw.com; John Hughes at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com