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Wake Up Call: Firms Try to Ease Anxiety of Office Returns

Sept. 9, 2021, 12:36 PM

In today’s column, the pro-Trump litigator representing Capitol riot defendants has reappeared after his mysterious absence stalled proceedings; practice management technology provider Clio acquired Lawyaw, a cloud-based legal document automation software maker; Florida’s biggest laws firms had close to 12% growth in this year’s first half.

  • Leading off, Big Law firms plan to offer food, drink, and other special “welcome back” programs designed to help ease anxiety for lawyers and staff returning to the office after 18 months working remotely because of the Covid-19 pandemic. (American Lawyer)
  • Michigan officials Wednesday said Trump lawyers who sued to overturn President Joe Biden’s election win in the state should pay around $200,000 for legal fees and related costs. (Reuters) Another pro-Trump litigator, Pierce Bainbridge co-founder John Pierce, who represents many Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot defendants, said he expects to return to work next week. Prosecutors said last week that their cases against 17 Capitol rioters were stalled because they couldn’t reach Pierce, who was said to be hospitalized. (ABA Journal)
  • Florida’s biggest law firms notched 11.6% revenue growth overall for the first six months of of 2021. (Daily Business Review) Philadelphia-based Big Law firms are on course this year to beat the profits record they hit in 2020. (Legal Intelligencer)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Withers said it is expanding its international private client and tax practice to Texas to tap into an increasing number of “successful” families and businesses relocating to the state. The new practice branch is led by Houston-based partner Kevin T. Keen, who also practices in Florida; Schiff Hardin said it joined the Family Wealth Alliance, an organization whose member firms serve nearly 7,000 private families in the U.S. with, overall, around $2.5 trillion in assets. (
  • Hogan Lovells lawyers were among volunteers racing against time to help in the evacuation out of Afghanistan of members of the national Afghan women’s cycling team. (Global Legal Post)

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • Crowell & Moring added international tax and transactions partner Irina Pisareva. According to her LinkedIn profile, she left Sullivan & Worcester in August after joining that firm in October 2020; Latham & Watkins said tax lawyer Andrew Strelka has rejoined the firm as counsel in Washington after serving as tax counsel to the Biden-Harris transition team and senior tax counsel in the Biden White House; Dechert grabbed Reed Smith employee benefits and executive compensation partner Kevin Kay as a partner in New York. According to his LinkedIn profile, he was previously at Freshfields. (Dechert)
  • Ropes & Gray grabbed Holland & Knight leveraged finance partner Gregory Bauer for its Chicago office. He’s previously been a partner at Kirkland & Ellis and Jones Day; Norton Rose Fulbright picked up Troutman Pepper securities, capital markets and corporate finance partner Scott Saks in New York; Kirkland & Ellis recruited Sofia Martos as a New York-based partner in its environmental, social, and governance & impact practice group. She arrives from Paul, Weiss, where she was an ESG associate. (
  • Former Federal Communications Commission attorney Belinda Nixon, who spent close to 25 years at the agency, joined Perkins Coie as a partner in Washington in its technology transactions and privacy law practice; Goodwin Procter added two partners in Washington. Intellectual property litigation partner Amadou Diaw joins from RuyakCherian, while private equity partner Rachel Frankeny, according to her LinkedIn profile, arrives after about eight years at Skadden, Arps. (
  • Blank Rome brought in construction law veteran Edward Gentilcore, recently executive vice president and chief legal officer at engineering and consulting services company Michael Baker International, as commercial litigation of counsel in Pittsburgh. He’s a former partner and construction practice vice chair at Duane Morris, was a Reed Smith partner, and VP and deputy general counsel at The New York Racing Association, Inc., a nonprofit horse racing track operator. (


  • Practice management technology provider Clio said it made its third-ever acquisition, getting Lawyaw, a cloud-based legal document automation software maker that it has been collaborating with for several years. Clio said Lawyaw, which participated in Silicon Valley tech startup incubator Y Combinator, was also the first document automation company to offer an app inside of Clio’s app store. (Cision PR Newswire)

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

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