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Wake Up Call: Lawyers Reject Three Days in Office, Survey Finds

May 6, 2022, 12:53 PM

In today’s column, despite his firm’s recent “misfires,” legendary litigator David Boies is still leading big cases at age 81; a recently confirmed CFTC commissioner hired a WilmerHale lawyer as her chief counsel; Boston College Law School hired a Cornell Law professor as its next dean.

  • Leading off, Big Law firms whose return-to-office plans require attorneys to be in office at least three days a week may have trouble implementing them, a recent survey suggests. American Lawyer reports that “a strong majority” of the 350 attorneys responding to its survey said they don’t want to be obligated to work in-office that often. Many said they’ll quit if they don’t get the flexibility they want. (American Lawyer)
  • Boies Schiller Flexner co-founder David Boies in a recent interview acknowledged his firm has had “some misfires” as it transitions to a new leadership. But at age 81, Boies is still leading major litigation. He is serving as co-lead counsel in two pending class actions against Alphabet Inc’s Google with billions of dollars on the line. (Reuters)
  • Goodwin Procter said it’s advising shipping logistics startup Deliverr on its approximately $2.1 billion deal to get acquired by Canadian e-commerce company Shopify Inc.; Cleary Gottlieb said it advised Google on its acquisition of Raxium, Inc., which makes MicroLED displays. Google reportedly wants to use the displays in augmented reality headsets it’s developing. (

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • The Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced that recently confirmed CFTC commissioner Kristin Johnson hired former WilmerHale special counsel Bruce Fekrat as chief counsel. Johnson, a former law professor and associate dean, was a Simpson Thacher attorney and JPMorgan Chase & Co executive and associate general counsel. Fekrat, who was a special counsel at the commission from 2003 to 2011, was recently executive director and associate general counsel at financial derivatives exchange CME Group. (
  • A former Chicago-based paralegal for Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr pleaded not guilty to charges she embezzled $600,000 from the firm. (Reuters)
  • A federal judge ruled that a law firm’s insurers don’t have to pay legal defense fees of a former partner facing criminal fraud charges. (

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • Locke Lord recruited veteran restructuring attorney David Kupetz as a partner in Los Angeles; Alston & Bird expanded its restructuring practice, getting partner Leah Fiorenza McNeill from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner in Atlanta and counsel Stephen Blank from King & Spalding in New York; Brown Rudnick added litigation & arbitration partner Aaron Lang in New York. He was at Cadwalader as special counsel. (
  • Norton Rose Fulbright said Baker Botts veteran oil and gas partner Craig Vogelsang returned to the firm as a partner and leader of the firm’s oil and gas practice. He was earlier a partner at Fulbright & Jaworski, which merged with Norton Rose in 2013. Winston & Strawn partner Alex Niebruegge, a former Fulbright & Jaworski associate, returned as oil and gas senior counsel; Winston & Strawn’s former Houston office managing partner, energy transaction lawyer Douglas Atnipp, joined Austin, Texas-founded firm Egan Nelson as a partner and head of its new Houston office. (Houston Business Journal)
  • Womble Bond Dickinson hired a former in-house lawyer at Enron Europe and Rolls Royce, Stephen Hands, as senior counsel in Leeds, England. He was recently head of legal at Sembcorp Energy UK; Crayhill Capital Management, a New York-based private equity firm, hired Akin Gump commercial real estate counsel Daniel Shlomi as general counsel; the Centre for Information Policy Leadership, a privacy and data policy think tank co-founded by Hunton Andrews Kurth, hired Cleary Gottlieb senior attorney and e-discovery specialist Natascha Gerlach as director of EU privacy and data policy, based in Brussels. (

Legal Education

  • Law school deans are criticizing the D.C. Court of Appeals’ announcement that seating for the July 2022 Uniform Bar Exam will be limited to 1,100, with students from D.C.-area law schools to get priority. ( Boston College Law School said Cornell University Law School professor Odette Lienau will start as its new dean in January 2023. (BC Law)

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