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Wake Up Call: Latham Announces Covid Bonuses for Associates

Oct. 30, 2020, 12:29 PM

In today’s column, Quinn Emanuel hired as a partner former Texas federal prosecutor John Bash, who recently resigned after leading the Justice Department’s fruitless “unmasking” probe into the Obama administration; a new survey finds the pandemic fueling stress in law firm staffers; Schiff Hardin announced a new AI-powered tool to value litigation claims.

  • Leading off, just when it seemed the fall bonus competition was over, Latham & Watkins said it will match the scale set by Davis Polk & Wardwell in September for special “Covid-appreciation” bonuses for associates, on top of the firm’s regular year-end bonuses. That scale is between $7,500 and $40,000 depending on seniority. (Above the Law)
  • London-based Ashurst plans to resume full monthly profit distributions to partners in the next few weeks, after cutting them 20% earlier in the year, when the firm, like many others, was trying to protect its cash flow from the impact of the Covid crisis. (The Lawyer)
  • The pandemic has increased stress for law firm staffers who find themselves working more but getting paid less, with news of law firms’ “stealth” layoffs darkening their horizons, a new survey shows. (American Lawyer)
  • Since the pandemic, a growing number of Asian corporations are looking to use litigation funding as a corporate finance tool to offset risks and manage cash-flow, this report says. ( International)
  • With Ireland imposing new stay-at-home orders on the economy, forcing firms to go remote again, transatlantic firm Eversheds Sutherland says it may never go back to full-time in-office work in the country. ( International)
  • And in Minneapolis, big firms including Dorsey & Whitney and Robins Kaplan say remote work is turning out better than they expected and, as a result, some of them are considering downsizing their offices when their leases come up for renewal. (

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Big Law firms saw new competition in October from so-called New Law firms in less traditional markets including Colombia, New Zealand, and Poland, among others. (
  • A new program seeks to build a pipeline of diverse future lawyers while they are still in high school, with help from Big Law firms. (BLAW)
  • After voters are finished casting their ballots Nov. 3, it’s the likely that lawyers will move in, a report says. (WSJ)
  • Corporate Counsel published profiles of its 2020 “Women, Influence & Power in Law” award winners. (Corporate Counsel)
  • Hogan Lovells advised Marvell Technology Group Ltd. on its agreement to buy Inphi Corp.,which was advised by Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, in a deal valued at about $8.2 billion, in the second big semiconductor chip merger this week, according to a statement. (Bloomberg News)
  • Morrison & Foerster advised Brazilian pet products online retailer PetLove in its merger with another Brazilian pet company DogHero, which provides pet services. (

Laterals, Moves

  • Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan hired former Texas federal prosecutor John Bash, who recently resigned after leading the Justice Department’s so-called unmasking probe into the Obama administration. Quinn said Bash, an experienced U.S. Supreme Court advocate, joins as a partner based in Houston and Washington. According to his LinkedIn, Bash was a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and for then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Bash earlier spent four years as a Gibson Dunn associate. (Texas Lawyer)
  • Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati’s London office added Joshua Kaplan as a corporate partner, bringing the office’s headcount to 13 lawyers. Kaplan arrives from payment solution provider, where he was chief operating officer and general counsel. He’s been an in-house leader at various banks, a Big Law attorney, and spent four years as an attorney at the U.S. Federal Reserve Board in Washington. (
  • Haynes and Boone said trademark lawyer Theresa Conduah, who has served in senior legal roles at leading companies including Toyota, United Airlines, and at Big Law firms, joined as partner in its Orange County, Calif., office. She arrived most recently from cannabis company Dosist, where she was vice president for intellectual property. (
  • O’Melveny & Myers added veteran technology dealmaker Viqar Shariff as counsel in its New York emerging companies practice. He’s a former Clifford Chance partner and arrives most recently from Loop AI Labs, a leading vendor in the cognitive computing market, where he was chief strategy officer. (BLAW)
  • Snell & Wilmer hired former Weil commercial litigator Sunny J. Thompson as a partner in Washington. Her most recent job was at Sunrise Senior Living, where she was vice president and associate general counsel. (
  • Polsinelli added real estate attorneys Matt Norton, as shareholder in Atlanta, and Courtney Rangen, as principal in Los Angeles. (
  • New York matrimonial and family law boutique Krauss Shaknes Tallentire & Messeri announced that Greenspoon Marder attorney Eric Saar joined the firm as of counsel. (
  • Arent Fox said partner and white collar criminal defense attorney Michelle J. Shapiro was named global vice-chair of the Women’s White Collar Defense Association. (


  • Moderna Inc., one of the leading biotechnology companies in the push to get a coronavirus vaccine, is preparing for the retirement next year of its top lawyer, Lori Henderson, the company said Thursday. (BLAW)
  • Edgewise Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, hired veteran biotech in-house leader John Moore as its first general counsel. Moore arrives from Peloton Therapeutics Inc., where he worked as general counsel and secretary for about a year. (BLAW)
  • Deutsche Bank AG promoted its general counsel for the Americas, Steven Reich, to CEO of Deutsche Bank Trust Co. Americas and head of strategy and governance initiatives for the Americas. Reich, a former federal prosecutor, Big Law partner, and senior White House counsel to President Clinton, steps into the role as the German finance giant is in the glare of U.S. investigators. (BLAW)


  • Cravath Swaine & Moore elected 11 new partners, effective Jan. 1, 2021, its largest partner class in at least a decade, the firm said Wednesday. (BLAW)


  • Schiff Hardin announced a new litigation claims valuation tool, called “Magnitude,” that it says aims to assess exposure and more accurately predict potential outcomes of a case. (
  • Facebook is targeted in a U.K. legal action led by law firm Milberg London over the social media giant’s involvement in the Cambridge Analytica scandal and misuse of users’ personal data. (Bloomberg News)
  • AI-startup Paperflip, a California-based contract analysis platform that integrated with Salesforce, is shutting down and its founders are joining electronic signature company DocuSign. (Artificial Lawyer)

Legal Education

  • A least a dozen law schools have canceled classes on election day next week. (

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at; Darren Bowman at