Bloomberg Law
Sept. 8, 2021, 12:41 PM

Wake Up Call: Kirkland Said to Delay Opening by Two Months

Rick Mitchell
Rick Mitchell
Freelance Correspondent

In today’s column, firms with strong life sciences practices continue to cash in as the pandemic generates public-health related work; a Brooklyn judge ruled that only Covid-vaccinated people will be allowed on the jury for an upcoming criminal trial; DLA Piper named a former global litigation practice leader to its new executive sustainability role.

  • Leading off, Kirkland & Ellis, which was among firms targeting a Sept. 21 return-to-office date, has delayed its global office reopening by two months, as a surge in Delta-variant Covid-19 infections causes continued uncertainty, according to a report from London. (The Lawyer) Facing doubts about their plans for early fall returns, some firms may choose to drop hard return dates. (American Lawyer)
  • Defense lawyers protested after a Brooklyn federal judge ordered that only people vaccinated against Covid-19 will be able to serve on an upcoming criminal trial jury in his court. (New York Daily News)
  • Big Law firms with strong life sciences practices continue to reap benefits as the pandemic fuels transactions, intellectual property, and regulatory work related to public health. (The Recorder) A new labor and employment market report from Littler scans challenges employers are facing post-Covid. (Littler)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • U.S. employment and immigration law firm Ogletree Deakins is starting a 78-person back-office support center in Northern Ireland. (Northern Ireland Economy Department)
  • DLA Piper said London-based partner Jean-Pierre Douglas-Henry, the firm’s former international group head of litigation & regulatory, is taking a new executive sustainability role at the firm; Above The Law’s latest ranking of outside counsel as assessed by in-house counsel includes eight firms that made its “top tier” list for the first time. (Above The Law)
  • A former Big Law attorney was charged with using a syringe to inject blood into food items at London supermarkets. (Roll on Friday)

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • Katten grabbed Kirkland & Ellis corporate partner Dilen Kumar, a former attorney in the Obama White House Counsel’s office, as a partner in Dallas in its M&A and private equity practice; Ropes & Gray hired away Latham & Watkins private equity and technology M&A partner Kate Withers as a partner in New York; DLA Piper brought in Big Law transactional tax veteran Shiukay Hung as a finance partner in New York, advising on real estate, M&A, private equity, and other transactions; O’Melveny & Myers said former Simpson Thacher capital markets counsel E. Ryan Coombs is joining its technology practice as a partner in San Francisco; Morris, Manning & Martin hired Big Law veteran Howard Hirsch as of counsel in Atlanta in its real estate capital markets group. He arrives from Griffin Capital Company, where he was securities general counsel. (
  • Dentons’ former CEO for the U.K., Ireland and Middle East Jeremy Cohen took a new job as senior adviser at merchant bank Panmure Gordon; Weil hired Deloitte tax principal Jason Vollbracht as a partner in Silicon Valley; McGuireWoods brought in Nelson Mullins corporate tax lawyer Sabrina Conyers as a partner in Charlotte, N.C.; BakerHostetler said a former associate at the firm, Carlos Ramos-Mrosovsky, is returning as counsel New York on its international arbitration and litigation team. He arrives from Alston & Bird. (
  • Crowell & Moring hired a three-decade veteran of many Justice Department posts in and outside the United States, Michael Gunnison, in Doha, Qatar, where he was recently the DOJ’s resident legal adviser in the U.S. embassy. He joins Crowell as senior counsel in its white collar and regulatory enforcement group; Covington & Burling recruited former U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee General Counsel Nick Xenakis as special counsel in Washington in its public policy practice. He was most recently chief counsel to Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.); Steptoe & Johnson, LLP recruited a new chief marketing and business development officer, Chris Hinze, in Washington. He arrives after 16 years at Hogan Lovells. (


  • A former Ashurst lawyer’s new dating app for legal professionals and law students says some of them may look “pale and exhausted” but they have “goodness in their hearts.” (Daily Business Review)

Legal Education

  • The American Bar Association notified Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law that it is out of compliance with an ABA accreditation standard focused on program resources. (ABA Journal)

To contact the correspondent on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer in New York at; Darren Bowman at