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Wake Up Call: Fox Rothschild Adds 130 Lawyers Via Merger With S.E. Firm

Sept. 21, 2018, 11:38 AM

• Fox Rothschild announced its “largest merger ever,” a tie-up with 99-year-old southeastern U.S. firm Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, which brings 130 attorneys and six offices in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Effective Nov. 1, the deal gives Philadelphia-based Fox 27 locations nationwide and boosts its overall headcount to more than 900 attorneys. Fox’s chair, Mark Silow, said the six added office locations “provide a base in some of the most rapidly developing markets in the country.” ( )

• UnitedLex Corp. has new owners. The alternative legal services pioneer, riding on $1.5 billion in new contracts in the last 18 months, said European private equity firm CVC Capital Partners agreed to acquire a majority stake in the company. UnitedLex’s contracts with law firms, corporations, and universities, include recent ones with General Electric and Richmond-based law firm LeClairRyan. ( )

• A lawyer for Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of a 1980s sexual assault, said Ford wants to testify to the Senate Judiciary Committee next week, but later than Monday and provided that terms are fair and safe for her client. ( Washington Post ) One subject that could come up during the hearing is Kavanaugh’s relationship with disgraced Judge Alex Kozinski. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• Meanwhile, congressional lawyers and outside attorneys are getting ready for the hearings. ( National Law Journal )

• Former Manatt partner Rebecca Torrey accused her old firm of gender discrimination and retaliation in a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing. David Sanford, of Sanford, Heisler, Sharp, confirmed in an email to Bloomberg Law that his firm is representing Torrey in the complaint. Torrey’sLinkedinsays she is now an L.A.-based partner at Elkins Kalt Weintraub Reuben Gartside, heading that firm’s labor and employment practice. ( Above The Law )

• Competitors of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz have for decades quitely wagered the M&A firm is unlikely to outlive its marquee name, Martin Lipton. At 87, Lipton still has no plans to retire, but the fate of his 260-lawyer firm after he does exit are definitely something Wachtell’s ranks are thinking about. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• Blank Rome poached Paul Hastings of counsel James Grogan to build its new bankruptcy and restructuring practice, as a partner based in Houston. ( Texas Lawyer )

Lawyers, Law Firms, Deals

• The widow of a Reed Smith partner who committed suicide while taking a generic version of GlaxoSmithKline LLC’ s antidepressant Paxil lost her attempt to have a federal appeals court revisit a decision tossing a $3 million jury verdict against the drugmaker. Several Big Firms are advising in the case. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• Family has a great influence on choosing law as a career, the recent study by the Association of American Law Schools shows. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• Fisher Phillips launched an autonomous vehicles practice group that will focus on the technology’s impact in the workplace. And other news about worklaw attorneys. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who made a fortune as a Skadden partner working for the steel industry, is now in charge of waging President Donald Trump’s protectionist trade battle, with China the main adversary. ( Bloomberg Businessweek )

Laterals, Moves

• Goodwin said veteran litigator Monte Cooper joined the firm’s Silicon Valley office as senior attorney in its intellectual property litigation practice, arriving after 19 years at Orrick. ( )

• JAMS, the alternative dispute resolution services provider, said veteran IP and tech litigation arbitrator Thomas L. Creel joined its panel in New York. Creel’s 30 years of experience include various leading roles in IP litigation practices as partner at Goodwin Procter, Kaye Scholer, and Kenyon & Kenyon. ( JAMSadr )

• Robins Kaplan hired former Department of Justice criminal litigation consultant Jennifer Jones as counsel in its national antitrust and trade regulation group, based in New York. Jones’decadeof legal experience includes roles as Air Force Judge Advocate General and prosecutor, among other things. ( )

• Proskauer Rose management-side worklaw litigator Jeremy Mittman jumped to Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp’s L.A. office as a partner in its labor & employment department. ( )

• Mintz said former Food & Drug Administration Senior Policy Adviser Aaron Josephson joined its consulting subsidiary ML Strategies, LLC, as senior director based in Washington. ( )

Legal, Regulatory Actions

• The New York Times Co. is suing the Federal Communications Commission for records the newspaper alleges may reveal possible Russian government interference in a public comment period before the commission rolled back Obama-era net neutrality rules. ( Bloomberg Law )

• IBM, Palantir Technologies Inc., and Oracle Corp. are on a new list of hundreds of prominent federal contractors employers selected to be audited for compliance with anti-discrimination laws, under a new policy of publicly identifying targeted companies. ( Bloomberg Law )

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor.