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Wake Up Call: Kenyon & Kenyon and Andrews Kurth to Merge

Aug. 29, 2016, 11:24 AM

• Kenyon & Kenyon and Andrews Kurth have voted to approve a merger , but the deal may not be final, according to a source close to the talks. (Law.com)

• Washington law firms are lagging national averages for revenue, hour gains and rate increases as policy and regulatory work slows in the run-up to the U.S. presidential election, according to recent data. (National Law Journal)

• The law firm Sedgwick told a California federal judge last week that its former partner Traci Ribeiro’s unequal pay suit belongs in arbitration because her gender discrimination claims are subject to a binding arbitration agreement she signed. (Big Law Business)

• Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom wants to livestream legal proceedings in New Zealand as he fights extradition to U.S. on conspiracy, racketeering and money-laundering charges. (Bloomberg)

• Law firms are facing a record wave of partner retirements and that trend poses major challenges for their business. (American Lawyer)

Legal Market

• The overall outlook for Midwest law firms is positive despite the uncertain economic picture for the legal profession, according to a new report. (National Law Journal)

• Abbott Laboratories’ planned $5.8 billion acquisitions of Alere, which makes medical tests, and St. Jude Medical for $25 billion, ran into big snags last week. (New York Times DealBook)

• Twenty-nine companies including major U.S. employers like Apple, Target and Coca-Cola signed an “equal pay pledge” last week to help reduce the gender wage gap. (Bloomberg BNA/Big Law Business)

• Big law firms have been conducting a mostly futile fight in California to keep securities class actions from moving to state court, a move they contend aims to evade federal legislative reforms to curb abusive securities class actions. (The Recorder)

• Law firm committees should be small, tight, diverse and led by a single partner: ten rules for effective committees from the chairman of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. (Big Law Business)

• The co-founder of a litigation finance firm that received a $100,000 grant from the man who bankrolled the legal slaying of Gawker Media says her main goal is providing financial backing to people and small businesses who can’t otherwise afford to bring litigation. (Big Law Business)

• Perspective: The financial troubles of Australia’s Slater & Gordon, which in 2007 became the world’s first listed law firm, sheds light on the debate over whether law firms should be allowed to hold initial public offerings and be owned by non-lawyers. (Big Law Business)

• Banks, law firms, accountants, public relations companies and the tax man are lining up for about $2 billion in fees and expenses from Anheuser-Busch InBev NV’s $103.8 billion takeover of rival SABMiller Plc. (Bloomberg/Big Law Business)

• Audio: Nathaniel Persily, a professor at Stanford University Law School, and Daniel Tokaji, a professor at the University of Ohio Moritz College of Law, discuss a lawsuit that alleges Maryland democratic lawmakers drew the state’s congressional district map in a way that ensured seven out of the eight congressional seats in the state would go to democrats. (Bloomberg/Big Law Business)

Court Rulings

• France’s top administrative court struck down a controversial ban on so-called burkini swimsuits. (USA Today)

• The Florida Supreme Court permanently disbarred two Tampa attorneys who set up opposing counsel for a DUI arrest a 2013 trial, after a first attorney was disbarred in January in the case. (Tampa Bay Times)

Mergers and Laterals

• Hogan Lovells, created out of a merger six years ago, is considering a link-up with a Chinese firm in Shanghai’s free-trade zone. (Legal Week)

• Buchalter Nemer said it has hired a new head for its automotive industry practice in Los Angeles: Eric Kennedy, who was a partner at Payne & Fears, a regional law firm headquartered in Orange County. (Big Law Business)

• Littler Mendelson has picked up Anthony Romano, getting him from Polsinelli where he was a longtime partner and vice chairman of the firm’s labor and employment group in Kansas City, Missouri. (American Lawyer)

• McGuireWoods has hired former SEC New York branch chief Ghillaine Reid as a partner in the city, where she will co-lead the firm’s broker-dealer practice. Reid leaves the boutique Schoeman Updike & Kaufman. (New York Law Journal)

Technology

• The Obama administration is proposing a federal rule that would allow overseas entrepreneurs to live in the U.S. for up to five years to help build a company. (Recode)

• A federal appeals court rejected a New York City taxi driver’s constitutional challenge to mandated GPS-tracking of cabs. (WSJ Law Blog)

• An email discovery controversy poured gasoline on a legal fight between TransPerfect’s founders. (American Lawyer)

• A new Russian law requires internet service providers to store all web traffic, including private chat rooms and e-mails, for as long as six months, as part of an anti-terrorism effort. (Bloomberg)

• The Chinese government has expressed concern about companies that use peer-to-peer networks to recruit students to borrow money at interest rates many times that charged by the nation’s banks, activity currently in a regulatory gray area. (Bloomberg)

• Federal antitrust regulators last week took the unusual step of warning California state legislators against a move the authorities say could hurt competition in the market for shorthand court reporters . (The Recorder)

• The FBI is using a new process for analyzing DNA samples that produces more matches in its suspect database, giving investigators more potential leads to work with in cold cases. (Wall Street Journal)

• Law firm website consultants give tips on designing a strong site. (Legaltech News)

Legal Education

• At a recent event for the incoming class of Harvard Law School, Merrick Garland talked with school Dean Martha Minow about his time as chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and as a prosecutor and Big Law partner, but he didn’t mention his stalled nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. (National Law Journal)

Miscellaneous

• Tthe former general counsel of failed mortgage giant Taylor, Bean & Whitaker wrapped up two days of testimony in the $5.5 billion accounting negligence trial against PricewaterhouseCoopers. (CVN)

• A sex-abuse lawsuit that ended the career of Sequoia Capital partner Michael Goguen may be foundering long before it reaches trial. (Bloomberg)

• Sumner M. Redstone agreed to meet with Keryn Redstone, his 34-year-old granddaughter, who was a party to a legal battle challenging his competence to manage his $40 billion media empire. (New York Times)

• A man received a life sentence in his conviction for torturing a McLean, Virginia, lawyer and his wife after the man’s wife was fired from the lawyers’ firm.

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Gabe Friedman.