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Wake Up Call: Kirkland Client Barneys Files for Bankruptcy Protection

Aug. 6, 2019, 11:39 AM
  • Barneys New York Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection from its creditors, after getting into a jam because of rising rents and shrinking numbers of customers to its luxury fashion stores. The company has been working with Kirkland & Ellis to stitch together a restructuring plan that would allow it to keep some stores open while it looks for a buyer. (BN)

  • Kirkland & Ellis also advised Fox Corporation in its agreement to buy San Francisco-based online personal finance marketplace Credible Labs, as part of Fox’s plan to find new digital investments after selling its entertainment assets to Disney last year. The Australia-listed fintech company, which was advised by DLA Piper and Akin Gump, was valued at about $397 million in the deal, according to reports. (Pymnts.com) (DLAPiper.com) (AkinGump.com) (Kirkland.com)

  • A Virginia-based law firm’s new tool allows searching a database of blockchain litigation, cryptocurrency cases in particular, across several jurisdictions. And a former Hogan Lovells partner’s firm accepts cryptocurrency as payment. Those two examples are cited by a Forbes writer as illustrating a trend of of certain law firms competing for highly technical lucrative blockchain and cryptocurrency clients. How lucrative? The writer estimates the biggest U.S. law firms could earn as much as $1.04 billion a year from blockchain law practices. (Forbes)

  • The Forbes article mentions elite U.K. firm Linklaters’ hire last month of prominent blockchain lawyer and consultant Joshua Ashley Klayman to lead its fintech, blockchain and digital assets practices. One industry publication called Klayman, who founded Morrison & Foerster’s blockchain and smart contracts group, and more recently her own boutique, “the mother of blockchains.” (BLAW via BLB)

  • Top lawyers in California earned over $1.3 million in cash compensation on average in 2018, 7% more than their national peers, according to recent data on general counsel pay. (The Recorder)

  • Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan is starting a cannabis practice, in the latest sign that Big Law sees serious growth prospects in this once-forbidden market, which could be worth as much as $75 billion by 2030, by one estimate. (BLAW via BLB)

  • The vaping and e-cigarette market, now worth around $5 billion, is also getting notice by some corporate law firms. But like the cannabis business, it has some serious risks. (The Recorder)

  • Defunct IP boutique Kenyon & Kenyon’s lawsuit against General Electric Co. and other entities seeking $9 million in unpaid fees is headed to trial in New York, after getting whittled down by a judge last week. (New York Law Journal)

Lawyers, Law Firms, Laterals

  • Venable hired litigator Lindsay M. Nathan, a former lawyer for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, as counsel in New York in its political law practice. Nathan was most recently senior corporate counsel at a national gun violence prevention organization. (Venable.com)

  • Health care firm Hooper, Lundy & Bookman hired former Jones Day patent litigator M. Andrew “Drew” Woodmansee as a shareholder in San Diego, where he will lead the firm’s intellectual property practice. (Health-law.com)

  • Jones Walker added prominent corporate and securities lawyer John Beaulieu “Beau” Grenier as a partner in its Birmingham, Alabama, office. During Grenier’s 17 years as managing partner and chairman of Bradley Arant, that firm expanded from about 150 lawyers, mainly in Alabama, to over 525 in nine cities across nine states. Jones Walker.com)

  • Holland & Knight said compliance and bankruptcy attorney Eugene Chikowksi joined the firm’s financial services practice group as a senior counsel in its Philadelphia office. He arrives from Gordon & Rees. (HKLaw.com)

  • Hunton Andrews Kurth hired former Virginia principal deputy solicitor Matthew R. McGuire as counsel in the firm’s issues and appeals practice in Richmond. McGuire was the principal Virginia attorney defending the sentence imposed on Lee Boyd Malvo, one of the “D.C. Snipers.” He earlier spent about two years as an associate at Jones Day. (HuntonAK.com)

  • Eversheds Sutherland got Greenberg Traurig corporate lawyer Stacey T. Kern for the firm’s new Chicago office, as a partner on its M&A and private capital teams. Her LinkedIn says she earlier spent time as a partner at Baker McKenzie and DLA Piper, and as an attorney at Paul Hastings. (Eversheds-Sutherland.com)

  • Hinshaw & Culbertson said in-house veteran Douglas A. Henning, most recently first deputy general counsel at the Chicago Board of Education, joined the firm in Chicago as a partner in its government practice. Henning, who earlier was chief attorney for the Chicago Transit Authority, started his legal career at Ice Miller. (HinshawLaw.com)

  • Willkie Farr & Gallagher added German finance lawyer Ralf Defren as a partner in Frankfurt. According to his LinkedIn, Defren previously spent 18 years at German firm Hengeler Mueller. (Willkie)

  • Womble Bond Dickinson added intellectual property lawyer John Forcier as of counsel in Boston. He’s advised healthcare, pharma, manufacturing, energy, and other companies while at law firms including Choate, Hall & Stewart and Goodwin Procter, and has held in-house roles. (WombleBondDickinson.com)

  • Perkins Coie added former J. C. Penney senior counsel April Goff as a partner in Dallas. Her focuses include tax, employee benefits and executive compensation, and privacy and security law, among others. (PerkinsCoie.com)

Legal Actions, Bankruptcies, Decisions

  • Apple Inc., advised by Latham & Watkins, won a new dismissal of proposed class claims that security fixes degraded the performance of its iPhones, iPads and Apple TVs. (BLAW)

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; Molly Ward in Washington at mward@bloomberglaw.com

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