Bloomberg Law
May 21, 2021, 12:35 PM

Wake Up Call: Firm Spending to Rise Again But With Changes

Rick Mitchell
Rick Mitchell
Freelance Correspondent

In today’s column, Jones Day got rejected on its try to force Orrick to turn over information on its grab of a partner in Paris a couple of years ago; Gibson Dunn announced a “diverse” new slate of office and practice leaders; Dorsey & Whitney’s special associate bonuses are far lower than the market standard.

  • Leading off, with pandemic restrictions starting to ease, law firms’ expenses for travel and marketing are set to head back up, but Covid-19 may have caused some permanent changes to some budget items, such as real estate. (American Lawyer)
  • After KPMG’s announcement last week that it’s partnering worldwide with Ogletree Deakins, EY is the only Big Four accounting firm that still doesn’t have a Big Law partner deal. Consultants and law firm representatives involved in the previous deals say they’ve brought several benefits. (American Lawyer)
  • A Texas appellate court reversed a Houston judge who’d rejected a civil defendant’s jury trial request in an effort to get a handle on her pandemic-backlogged docket; in New Jersey, slow court proceedings are straining some lawyers’ client relationships and that’s hitting their wallets, too; meanwhile, in France some lawyers say they’re finding that the pandemic has improved clients’ and colleagues’ attention to work-life boundaries. ( International)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Dorsey & Whitney announced special associate bonuses that are quite different from the market standard set by Davis Polk. For starters, they’re much lower, Above the Law reports; Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher announced what it called the “next generation of firm leaders” for its offices and practices. It said the slate of new leaders across the firm represents a diverse range of backgrounds and perspectives. (
  • A District of Columbia judge denied Jones Day’s request to force Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe to disclose certain information related to a former Paris practice leader’s departure two years ago. Jones Day accused the partner of breaching his partnership agreement; a Kansas woman is using an 1800s law to convene her own grand jury after failing to convince a prosecutor to bring a rape charge against a man. (ABA Journal)
  • New York-based immigration firm Fragomen launched an office in Amsterdam; U.K.-based Allen & Overy said it’s committing to a 50% reduction in its global carbon emissions by 2030. (

Laterals, Moves, In-House

  • DLA Piper named intellectual property and technology partner Erin Gibson chair of the firm’s International Trade Commission practice. DLA Piper also brought in former State Department deputy special envoy David Peyman, a specialist on sanctions, as international trade of counsel in Washington; Mayer Brown recruited former Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Carl Risch as a partner in Washington in the firm’s global mobility & migration practice. (
  • King & Spalding grabbed Jones Day restructuring lawyer Timothy Hoffmann as a partner in Chicago; former Reed Smith restructuring and bankruptcy partner Claudia Springer left to join Novo Advisors as a principal heading the mediation practice in the Chicago-headquartered turnaround consultancy’s new Philadelphia office; Haynes and Boone got corporate and capital markets attorney Jason Zachary as a partner working out of Denver and New York. According to his LinkedIn profile, he arrives from Greenberg Traurig where he was a shareholder; Troutman Pepper got McDermott Will & Emery corporate lawyer Matt Rupp as a partner in Detroit. He represents private equity and other investment funds and companies on M&As and other transactions (
  • Blank Rome added white collar defense and investigations veteran Jennifer Achilles in New York as a partner. She arrives from Reed Smith where she led the global regulatory enforcement group in the New York office; former Hawaii federal prosecutor Marc Wallenstein joined plaintiffs’ complex-litigation boutique Korein Tillery as a partner in Honolulu; Buchalter got litigation shareholder Artin Betpera in Orange County, Calif., from Womble Bond Dickinson; Michael Best’s government relations unit added Andrea Riccio, a former deputy director, policy and communications committee, for Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi, as a principal in Washington. (Michael Best)

Legal Education

  • Law school graduates who have high debt and the stress that goes with it perform worse on bar exams, a new study shows. (

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at; Darren Bowman at