Wake Up Call: King & Spalding Hires Sally Yates, Former AG Fired by Trump

May 9, 2018, 11:10 AM

• Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, famously fired by Donald Trump in the early days of his presidency for refusing to defend the travel ban, is returning to King & Spalding decades after starting her legal career there. The firm said Yates, who spent 27 years at the DOJ, will be a partner based in Atlanta and Washington and lead an independent team to investigate corporations. That’s a similar role to the one former Attorney General Eric Holder has at Covington Burling.( BLB )

• New York’s solicitor general, Barbara Underwood, has stepped in as acting attorney general, following the resignation of Eric Schneiderman. She’s the first woman to hold that job, and she’s also among top contenders to get the job for a longer term. ( Bloomberg )

• Schneiderman leaves behind a massive caseload including high-profile litigation and investigations involving Exxon, Harvey Weinstein, Equifax, and Facebook, among others. ( Bloomberg )

• Women in general counsel jobs make about 78 percent of the average total compensation their male counterparts make, according to a new survey of compensation earned by U.S. in-house counsel, by executive search firm BarkerGilmore. ( Corporate Counsel )

• Perkins Coie and Bracewell are getting sued for malpractice by Electron Trading LLC, which accuses the two firms of bungling the drafting of a technology licensing agreement with Morgan Stanley. ( Above the Law )

• Hughes Hubbard & Reed said former national security officialRyan Fayhee joined the firm as a partner in Washington and will lead its sanctions, export control and anti-money laundering group within the larger international trade practice. Fayhee comes most recently from Baker McKenzie.( HughesHubbard.com )

• Financial technology expert Lee A. Schneider left Debevoise for McDermott Will & Emery last fall and now he’s moving again to become general counsel of blockchain software developer Block.one. ( American Lawyer )

• Orrick client Twitter Inc. goes to court today to fight a gender discrimination lawsuit filed by one of its first engineers. The case is one of several recent class action claims alleging gender bias at tech giants, including Google, Uber Technologies Inc., and Microsoft Corp.( The Recorder )

Lawyers and Law Firms

• AT&T Inc. confirmed that it hired a firm established by Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, saying it was seeking “insights” around the time the new administration was inaugurated last year. The relationship was revealed by porn star Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti, as among parties that made payments to Cohen’s firm. ( Bloomberg )

• Paul Manafort added a former federal prosecutor to his legal team, Jay Nanavati, now a tax partner at Kostelanetz & Fink in Washington, as Manafort fights tax fraud and other charges filed in the special counsel’s Russia investigation. ( National Law Journal )

• Jonathan Berry, a former Jones Day attorney turned Justice Department official, is now heading the Labor Department’s policy office. Before serving for five months as the DOJ’s counsel to the assistant attorney general, Berry worked as the chief counsel to Trump’s transition team, according to his financial disclosure report. ( Bloomberg Law )

Laterals, Moves, Law Firm Work

•Barnes & Thornburg said it picked up Ogletree Deakins senior associate Gray Mateo-Harris as a partner in its labor & employment law department. She’s the fifth new partner to join the firm’s Chicago office this year.( BTlaw.com )

Legal Actions

• Not doing your job isn’t protected speech, a federal appeals court ruled. ( Bloomberg Law )

• The judge in what appears to be the first criminal fraud prosecution focused on an ICO complained that regulators are not yet “in the 20th century, much less the 21st.” ( Bloomberg )

• Sony Corporation of America is on the hook for its own legal expenses in a copyright dispute over a song contest for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor.

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