Bloomberg Law
Free Newsletter Sign Up
Bloomberg Law
Welcome
Go
Free Newsletter Sign Up

Wake Up Call: Firms Hire Remote Associates, Prefer Hybrid Work

Jan. 13, 2022, 1:43 PM

In today’s column, midsize and smaller firms beat bigger firms on revenues and profits last year; the latest Covid-19 variant’s rapid spread caused a Missouri court to postpone a Roundup trial; chief legal officers are in high demand, a LinkedIn survey found.

  • Leading off, as Big Law battles a talent shortage, Fenwick & West and Latham & Watkins joined the handful of firms open to considering qualified attorneys who work fully remote. However, no firm has yet matched Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan’s “work from anywhere” policy, and many associates still prefer a “flexible” office arrangement, a report says. (American Lawyer)
  • The rapid spread of omicron-variant Covid-19 infections caused a Missouri court to delay a jury trial over the pesticide Roundup. (Law.com) As firms delay office returns or return to remote work, “most clients don’t care if their outside counsel are working from the moon,” as long as they deliver results and reliability. That’s a comment during a recent Twitter chat on law firm culture and remote work. (Law.com)
  • Lower billing rates and smaller compensation and other costs helped midsize and smaller law firms post higher revenues and profits than their bigger rivals in 2021, recent data show. (American Lawyer)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • A recent LinkedIn survey found hires of chief legal officers the fourth-fastest growing type of C-Suite executive hire, behind hires of chief people officer, chief underwriting officer, and the fastest-growing category, chief diversity & inclusion officer. (BarkerGilmore)
  • London-based Big Law firm Mishcon de Reya is off to a shaky start on its plans to go public. (Financial Times) Linklaters started a Dutch Supreme Court litigation practice based in Amsterdam, Netherlands; Detroit-based Clark Hill merged with Dublin, Ireland-based litigation boutique Eames Solicitors, adding its four lawyers; Milwaukee-headquartered Michael Best said it’s moving to bigger premises in Denver to accommodate its growth; Buchalter is relocating its office in San Francisco by the end of March. (Buchalter)
  • Michigan’s attorney discipline board suspended a former associate at immigration firm Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy for three years for professional misconduct that included failing to adequately represent corporate clients. (Reuters)

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • BakerHostetler grabbed two white collar, government investigations partners, and former federal prosecutors Brian McEvoy and Brian Rafferty, in Atlanta from Polsinelli. McEvoy, who was Polsinelli’s Atlanta managing partner and chair of its government investigations group, and Rafferty are expected to be joined by an unspecified number of Polsinelli associates and counsel; Neal Gerber Eisenberg hired intellectual property trial lawyer Jeffrey Ward as a partner in Chicago. He’s previously been a partner at Green, Griffith & Borg-Breen, and Merchant & Gould. (NGE.com)
  • Cole Schotz elected its employment law department chair, Randi W. Kochman, to be the firm’s co-managing shareholder; Clark Hill added five real estate attorneys in Lansing, Michigan, including three members; Ashurst’s Korea practice co-chief, Peter Kwon, left to join U.K.-based Reynolds Porter Chamberlain in Hong Kong, in that firm’s bid to target South Korean clients. (RPC.co.uk)
  • Nixon Peabody added corporate lawyer Conrad Adkins as counsel in Chicago. He was assistant general counsel at James Hardie Building Products; New York-based water tech company Xylem Inc. said it hired transport provider National Express Group’s top lawyer, Dorothy Capers, to start as Xylem’s senior vice president, general counsel effective Feb. 7. Capers takes over from Claudia Toussaint, who’s stepping up to dual roles as Xylem’s chief human resources and sustainability officer; HyperDraft AI, a legal document software startup, hired Goodwin Procter technology partner Sean Greaney in Los Angeles to be its first general counsel. (PR Newswire)

Promotions

  • Effective Jan. 1: Phoenix-based Lewis Roca elected 14 lawyers to partner; Finn Dixon & Herling elected four attorneys to partner and two to counsel; Clark Hill promoted four attorneys to member and nine to senior attorney; Newmeyer Dillion elected two partners; San Francisco-based litigation firm Keker, Van Nest & Peters elected three to partner. (Keker.com)

Legal Education

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; Darren Bowman at dbowman@bloomberglaw.com