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Wake Up Call: Jones Day Latest Firm Hit by Gender Bias Suit

June 20, 2018, 11:01 AM

• Former partner Wendy Moore alleges that Jones Day is a “fraternity” where women lawyers have to depend on male attorneys for success and where business is often conducted at strip clubs and sports events. The gender bias suit brought by Moore, who joined Jones Day as a Silicon Valley partner in 2013, accused the firm’s leadership of kicking her out after she voiced concerns about how the firm treats female attorneys. She’s represented by David Sanford of Sanford Heisler Sharp, which is already litigating gender bias cases against Morrison & Foerster, Ogletree Deakins, and Proskauer, and which recently settled claims with two other firms. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• Silicon Valley firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, known for representing top technology companies including Google,, Apple, Tesla, and Twitter, said it will open its first London office this summer. ( Bloomberg via BLB )

• Milbank, which triggered the latest round of associate-pay increases a few weeks ago, has now matched the market-leading scale that Cravath established in response. New York litigation boutique Selendy & Gay and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett also said they will match Cravath. ( American Lawyer ) But Reed Smith, citing “client interests,” said it will take a raincheck for now. ( American Lawyer )

• New data is putting the spotlight back on gender pay gaps at elite U.K. law firms Linklaters, Clifford Chance, Slaughter & May, and Freshfields. ( Financial Times )

• Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s ex-personal lawyer and fixer, has reportedly hired a former top federal prosecutor, Guy Petrillo, as his new lawyer. ( New York Times )

• Proposed EU copyright rules could do away with key legal protections enjoyed by Google, Facebook Inc., and other internet giants, among other things increasing their liability for users’ posts online. ( Bloomberg )

• The University of Southern California and its board of directors hired Quinn Emanuel to defend the school against lawsuits that grew out of sexual abuse allegations targeting a former gynecologist at the USC health center. ( The Recorder )

• Treasury General Counsel Brent McIntosh, a former Sullivan & Cromwell partner, sold off up to $30,000 worth of bitcoin in December to avoid potential ethics conflicts after being asked to participate in a review of digital currencies, a Treasury spokeswoman said. ( National Law Journal )

• Former Morgan Lewis attorney Bryan Jarrett defended Best Buy in a worker lawsuit challenging how the electronics chain calculated overtime pay. That experience could prove relevant as Jarret is now in charge of a Labor Department office that is getting ready to revise overtime regulations. ( Bloomberg Law )

Lawyers and Law Firms

• The Zuckerman Spaeder partner representing FBI agent Peter Strzok said politics may have tainted an internal disciplinary review targeting Strzok. ( Bloomberg )

• The Securities and Exchange Commission appointed enforcement attorney Daniel J. Wadley as regional director of its Salt Lake City Division. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• Chicago-based Upright Law LLC, which claims to have a national bankruptcy practice with over 400 partner lawyers, was sanctioned by a Pennsylvania bankruptcy court for filing bankruptcy petitions without the debtors’ signatures. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• Mintz Levin’s immigration practice chief, Susan Cohen, is using a song she wrote to raise awareness of the plight of refugees. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

Laterals, Moves

Cooley said it expanded its global tax practice with the arrival of L.A.-based partner Alexander Lee, who comes from McDermott Will & Emery. ( Cooley )

• Sidley Austin said finance lawyer Allan Wardrop joined the firm’s global finance practice as a partner in Hong Kong. He was previously at Hogan Lovells. ( )

• Birmingham, Alabama-based Bradley Arant Boult Cummings said litigator Katherine H. Blankenship joined the firm’s Nashville office as an associate in its construction and government contracts practice group. She was previously at Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP. ( )

Legal Market

• Bain Capital Private Equity agreed to acquire Varsity Brands, a maker of cheerleading uniforms and school spirit merchandise, for a reported $2.5 billion. Goodwin advised the sellers in the deal, while Kirkland & Ellis advised Bain Capital Private Equity. ( Bloomberg ) ( Business Wire )

Legal Actions

• Bank of America Corp.'s Merrill Lynch unit agreed to pay a $42 million penalty to settle a U.S. regulator’s allegations that it concealed from customers that it routed millions of their orders to outside brokers. ( Bloomberg )

• A coalition of Democratic attorneys general demanded Tuesday that the Trump administration end a “zero tolerance” policy that has resulted in children being separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. ( Associated Press via Bloomberg )


• AI technology is still in the first inning of a nine-inning game that will probably extend into extra innings, but the tech can already help lawyers stop doing certain mundane legal work, says Microsoft assistant general counsel Dennis Garcia. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor.