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Wake Up Call: Gibson Dunn Sets Jan. 10 U.S. Reopening Date

Oct. 21, 2021, 12:30 PM

In today’s column, Britney Spears’ father hired a Willkie litigator to represent him in his conservatorship fight with his pop star daughter; first-generation college grads lag in the post law school job market, a new study says; Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner is planning job cuts and other restructuring linked to its “NewLaw” units, a report says.

  • Leading off, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher said it will officially reopen its U.S. offices Jan. 10. The firm this summer announced a new flexible work policy that lets attorneys work remotely “whenever it is appropriate.” But Managing Partner Barbara Becker told American Lawyer this week that a growing number of the firm’s young lawyers are already coming into the office several times a week. (American Lawyer) Gibson Dunn is the latest firm to target an early 2022 reopening, while citing a hybrid approach. (BLAW)
  • As Big Law firms go back to in-person work after long lay-offs because of the pandemic, some lawyers are facing productivity and collaboration snags linked to new routines, a report says. (American Lawyer)
  • A New York judge ruled that the state court system can implement its vaccine mandate for employees. (New York Law Journal)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Venable signed a 15-year lease for 158,000 square feet across five floors of a Time Square office tower in New York, where it plans to consolidate its New York offices. (New York Business Journal)
  • Britney Spears’ father, Jamie Spears, has hired Willkie Farr & Gallagher litigation partner Alex Weingarten to represent him in his conservatorship fight with his pop star daughter, according to reports. Holland & Knight partner Vivian Thoreen dropped Jamie Spears as a client, after a court suspended him as his daughter’s conservator. ( (Page Six) Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows hired McGuireWoods partner George Terwilliger, described as a “top Republican lawyer,” to represent Meadows in the congressional probe of the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. Terwilliger was a deputy attorney general during the George H. W. Bush administration. (Politico)
  • Suspended Pryor Cashman associate Colinford Mattis and another lawyer face up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to firebombing a New York City police vehicle in Black Lives Matter protests last year. (New York Times)

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • Mayer Brown hired corporate partner Jon-Paul Bernard in New York. He arrives from Weil, Gotshal & Manges, where he’d been 23 years, including close to 14 as a partner; Davis Polk & Wardwell got back capital markets and derivatives lawyer Caitlin Wood. She was at the firm earlier in her career, returns as counsel in New York from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. (
  • Goodwin Procter hired two partners in Washington. Life sciences partner Susan Lee, who advises biologics and drug companies on Food and Drug Administration matters, joined from Hogan Lovells. Private equity partner Rohith Parasuraman was previously a counsel at Latham & Watkins; Nixon Peabody brought in intellectual property lawyer Tom O’Keefe, recently in-house at Akamai Technologies, as counsel in Boston; BakerHostetler said corporate partner Mark Hatcher will take over as Columbus, Ohio, office managing partner from Gary Wadman starting Jan. 1, 2022. (
  • Stoel Rives said a former corporate associate at the firm, Mary Sennes, returned as of counsel in Minneapolis. She’s arrives from DLA Piper, has been a Barnes & Thornburg partner, and was in-house at UnitedHealth Group; New York-headquartered labor and employment law firm Jackson Lewis said it opened an office in Riverside, California, led by principal and litigation manager Nicole Shaffer. The office is the firm’s 62nd overall; worklaw firm Fisher Phillips added four lawyers in Sacramento, California. (Wine Industry Advisor)


  • Transatlantic firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner is making job cuts and other restructuring moves in its innovation and business support teams, a report from London says. (The Lawyer)

Legal Education

  • First-generation college graduates do less well in the post law school job market than their peers who had a parent or guardian graduate college before them, according to a recent report by the National Association for Law Placement. (NALP)

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