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Wake Up Call: Foley & Lardner Said to Mull New York Tie-Up

April 24, 2017, 12:27 PM

• Foley & Lardner is said to be talking to New York-based Friedman Kaplan Seiler & Adelman about a tie-up that could nearly double the Milwaukee firm’s Manhattan presence. Last year Foley cut off merger talks with British firm Eversheds, which later ended up merging with Atlanta-based Sutherland Asbill & Brennanz. ( Am Law Daily )

• Kirkland & Ellis is set to announce the return of Neil Eggleston, who as White House counsel under former President Barack Obama, among other things helped in the vetting process for Obama’s ill-fated nomination of Merrick Garland for the U.S. Supreme Court. ( BLB )

• Work by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey for a wealthy Turkish-Iranian gold trader accused of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran has two other former U.S. prosecutors worried that they are politicizing a U.S. criminal case, and the Justice Department itself. A federal court hearing today may shed light on Giuliani’s activities, such as his recent talks with Turkey’s leader. ( Bloomberg )

• A Panama court Friday ordered the release on bail of two name partners at the law firm Mossack-Fonseca, which was at the heart of last year’s “Panama Papers” tax-avoidance scandal. ( Associated Press )

• Akin Gump’s chair Kim Koopersmith and Hogan Lovells’ CEO Stephen Immelt recently sat for a face-to-face talk, in the second BLB video series featuring one-on-one conversations between leaders of top grossing law firms. ( BLB )

Law Firm Business

• McGuireWoods last week named two partners to take over management at its lobbying subsidiary, McGuireWoods Consulting, and said the firm itself may name a new leader next year. Mark Bowles, a former fundraiser for Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, takes over as chairman of the lobbying subsidiary in January, and Jim Hodges, the former governor of South Carolina, comes in as CEO. Current chairman Frank Atkinson and CEO L.F. Payne Jr., are stepping down but will remain on the subsidiary’s management liaison committee in the transition. ( National Law Journal )

• What did Hogan Lovells get right, and wrong? A critical look at the merger of London’s Lovells and Washington, D.C.'s Hogan & Hartson to form Hogan Lovells. ( Am Law Daily )

• Jenner & Block said it has appointed London office managing partner Charlie Lightfoot as co-chairman of the firm’s international arbitration practice. The practice’s other co-chairman is New York-based former federal prosecutor and 3M general counsel Richard Ziegler, who joined the firm in 2007. ( Commercial Dispute Resolution )

Legal Market

• Volkswagen AG is a step nearer to closing its huge emissions-test cheating scandal. It will pay a $4.3 billion penalty for misleading U.S. regulators and customers about its diesel engines’ emissions after a federal judge approved the company’s plea deal. ( Bloomberg via BLB )

• A Washington federal appeals court Friday rejected the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s subpoena on an organization that accredits for-profit colleges, the latest of several hits the CFPB has taken to its authority. ( Wall Street Journal )

• China National Chemical Corp.'s planned $43 billion acquisition of Syngenta A.G. adds an ironic twist to a legal fight the Swiss-based seed company faces with U.S. farmers and grain handlers, who blame it for actions they say led China to reject U.S. corn shipments, seriously depressing corn prices. The farmers’ allegations are set to be considered in court, with the first of at least half a dozen trials set to start Monday in Minneapolis. ( Bloomberg )

• AT&T has tried to portray itself in Washington, D.C., as an underdog that needs an $85 billion mega-merger with Time Warner to compete with powerful cable companies. But its actions across the country tell a different story. ( New York Times )

• White & Case and Clifford Chance are advising the board of the London-based Co-operative Bank, which was rescued by U.S. hedge funds four years ago and has put itself up for sale. ( The Lawyer ,Sky News )

• Sunday’s first-round vote eliminated nine candidates from France’s presidential election, whittling it down to a contest between a right-wing lawyer and a former investment banker. The final runoff vote is scheduled for May 7. ( Bloomberg )

• After almost three years of booming health-care dealmaking in the U.S., 2017 is off to a slow start. Part of the reason is that President Donald Trump dashed hopes for a new biotech boom. ( Bloomberg via BLB )


• Gearing up for a long “struggle” with the Trump administration, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has hired several Democrat-leaning civil rights and federal agency lawyers to fill top jobs in his office. ( The Recorder )


• Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has made a habit of flouting rules and norms, and backing down only when caught. ( New York Times DealBook )

• A Seattle federal court handed a 27-year jail sentence to the son of a Russian lawmaker depicted by U.S. prosecutors as a master cyber-thief who made the purchase of stolen credit cards “as easy as buying a book on Amazon.” ( Bloomberg via BLB )

• A company started by a veteran clerk for a U.K. legal office has developed a cheeky chatbot called “Billy Bot” aimed at helping barristers’ clerks handle the large volume of simple legal questions they get from the public. ( Legaltech News )

• Crime victims in Alabama are criticizing a publicly available government web site that posts their personal data online, including name, address and phone number, social security numbers, and in at least one case, the hospital bill of a rape victim. ( Associated Press )

Legal Education

• Reacting to last week’s news that California-based Whittier College’s board of trustees had decided to close the college’s ABA-accredited law school in the face of a grim market, the executive director of Law School Transparency told BLB that Whittier students’ “shockingly bad” bar passage performance likely pushed the school over the brink. A Colorado Law School professor said other law schools are struggling as much as, maybe more than Whittier. ( BLB )

• Former U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, an Obama appointee for the Northern district of Alabama, will join the University of Alabama School of Law as a visiting lecturer in August. ( Tuscaloosa News )


• Jeff Dorrill, Haynes and Boone’s 55-year-old corporate and tax partner in Dallas, ran the Boston Marathon last week and is set to become the second-oldest person to ever compete in the USA Collegiate Club National Triathlon Championships, as a member of the University of Alabama’s triathlon team. ( Texas Lawyer )

• A Tennessee defense attorney told a jury in a rape trial that women are “especially good” at lying “because they’re the weaker sex.” ( A.P. via U.S. News & World Report )

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Casey Sullivan.