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Wake Up Call: Hogan Lovells, Holland & Knight Freeze PAC Money

Jan. 13, 2021, 2:38 PM

In today’s column, giving itself some post-pandemic maneuvering room, Blank Rome signed a 16-year lease in Philadelphia that lets it cut its space by up to half during that time; the son of a Brooklyn judge was arrested for participating in the pro-Trump mob attack on the Capitol; a Delaware judge booted a Trump lawyer from a case, citing his work on litigation challenging election results; Willkie said its former chair Jack H. Nusbaum died at age 80.

  • Leading off, Hogan Lovells and Holland & Knight yesterday were the latest firms to say they’re freezing all their political action committee contributions, to give themselves time to take stock after last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob. Their moves came after Squire Patton Boggs and Cozen O’Connor announced their responses to the riots. (American Lawyer) Squire said it has suspended donations by its PAC committee to give itself time to review its policies, while Cozen O’Connor said it’s blocking any contributions to politicians who objected to certification of the results of the 2020 election. (BLAW) The moves by the law firms came after several banks and major corporations said they are freezing their donations to lawmakers and political parties because of the attack. (Newsweek)
  • As firms contemplate their need for physical space post-Covid, Philadelphia-headquartered Blank Rome has signed a 16-year lease for its Center City office space that would allow it to reduce its square footage by up to 50% during that period. (Legal Intelligencer)
  • Tech and life sciences markets helped lift M&A during Covid-afflicted 2020 and they look set to power a busier 2021 for deal lawyers, a report says. (BLAW)
  • Privacy lawyers say digital apps for screening people to see if they’ve tested positive for Covid-19 or whether they’ve been vaccinated shouldn’t face major obstacles as long they comply with certain conditions. (Legaltech News)

Biden Transition, Election Litigation, Fallout From Capitol Riots

  • Trump lawyer L. Lin Wood is having a nasty breakup with another controversial billionaire client, casino magnate Steve Wynn, the Journal reports. (WSJ) Wood also got kicked off a lawsuit by a Delaware judge who called him “unfit” because of his involvement in lawsuits seeking to overturn the election results. (Forbes)
  • Law deans and professors nationwide called the Capitol riot an assault on the rule of law. (BLAW)
  • The son of a Brooklyn judge was arrested based on a photograph showing him participating in the mob. (Bloomberg News)
  • DC federal prosecutors expect a major caseload stemming from the riots. (National Law Journal)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Distributed law firm FisherBroyles is reporting $113 million in gross revenue from 2020, up 14%. It estimated that the firm distributed at least 85% of its $104 million in 2020 fee revenue to partners. (American Lawyer)
  • Littler announced another expansion to its global network. The management-side worklaw firm said its UK branch, GQ|Littler, opened an office in Dublin, Ireland, led by partner Niall Pelly, who came over from Irish firm Matheson. (Littler.com)
  • Willkie Farr & Gallagher said Tuesday that its former Chairman Jack Nusbaum, who headed the firm for 23 years before stepping down in January 2010, died at the age of 80. (Willkie.com)
  • Paul, Weiss and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton are defending two top executives at Ripple Labs Inc. in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit. Debevoise & Plimpton is representing Ripple, a report says. (New York Law Journal)
  • A group of U.S. and European law firms created an alliance of professionals that provide legal advice to construction industry clients throughout Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Gulf region. (ConstructionDive.com)

Laterals, Moves

  • Morrison & Foerster’s London office got Jones Day real estate finance partner Ed Borrini as a partner. (MoFo.com)
  • Perkins Coie added Andrew Kline, a cannabis industry association official, in Denver as senior counsel in the commercial litigation and cannabis law group. He has been a federal prosecutor, an Obama administration adviser, and counsel to Joe Biden when he was a U.S. senator. (BLAW)
  • Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders hired a former EPA water office chief, David Ross, as a partner in the firm’s environmental and natural resources practice group in Washington. (BLAW)
  • Simpson Thacher & Bartlett said it’s getting back capital markets lawyer Bill Hinman, who for close to the last four years led the SEC unit that reviews company filings. (BLAW)
  • Greenberg Traurig hired Shook, Hardy & Bacon litigation partner Alexandra Bach Lagos as a shareholder on its Miami products liability team. (GTLaw.com)
  • Dykema got Locke Lord government relations lawyer Mark Mansour as a member in Washington, advising on FDA and FTC matters. (Dykema.com)
  • Withers brought on veteran employment attorney Laura Watanabe as a partner in its litigation and arbitration practice in New York. She’s been at her own firm for close to 18 years, before which she was at MoFo in California, and before that was deputy bureau chief at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn. (WithersWorldwide.com)
  • Dechert recruited got two intellectual property partners from Finnegan to expand its life sciences capabilities. Howard Levine, who’d been at Finnegan close to 28 years, joins in Washington, while Jennifer Swan joins in Silicon Valley. (Dechert.com)
  • Cole Schotz got veteran IP lawyer Vishal Patel as a member in Dallas. He was previously a partner at Thompson & Knight. (ColeSchotz.com)
  • Three Texas Cole Schotz lawyers are moving to the new Houston office of bankruptcy boutique Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones. (Texas Lawyer)
  • Locke Lord hired litigation partner Mia Lorick in Houston. She was previously a shareholder and director of diversity and inclusion at Roberts Markel Weinberg Butler Hailey PC. (LockeLord.com)

In-House

  • Specialty chemical company W. R. Grace & Co. hired Cherée H. Johnson as senior vice president, general counsel and secretary. She was previously an in-house leader at food giant McCormick & Company, Inc., and was previously at The Kraft Heinz Company. (Globenewswire.com)
  • Two top lawyers at Visa Inc. took on new roles as the credit card giant prepared for a potential antitrust battle with the Justice Department. (BLAW)
  • A PBS in-house contracts lawyer resigned after a conservative group recorded him describing President Trump as “close to Hitler.” (Associated Press via WaPo)

Promotions, Management Elections

  • Constantine Cannon named administrative partner Alysia Solow and partner and general counsel Amianna Stovall, both based in New York, to its management committee. (ConstantineCannon.com)
  • Baker McKenzie promoted 19 lawyers (10 women) to partner in North America, effective Jan. 1, 2021. (BakerMcKenzie.com)
  • Jones Walker reelected managing partner Bill Hines to a fourth consecutive five-year term. It also announced the reelection of two members of its board of directors, and the election of eight attorneys (two women) to partner. (PRNewswire.com)
  • Clark Hill promoted eight attorneys (two women) to member and 18 associates to senior attorney. (ClarkHill.com)

Technology

  • A Massachusetts lawyer’s $1,000 lawsuit against Google claims the search giant should be considered a consumer reporting agency under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. (Boston.com)

To contact the correspondent on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at rMitchell@correspondent.bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com; Darren Bowman at dbowman@bloomberglaw.com

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