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Wake Up Call: Mayer Brown Advising Universities in Suit Against Trump Administration

Oct. 25, 2018, 11:27 AM

• Mayer Brown partner Paul W. Hughes is lead counsel for four U.S. universities suing the Trump Administration in North Carolina federal court. The universities are suing over a new policy that changes the way U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services calculates how many days a non-immigrant foreign student has been in the U.S unlawfully. The schools contend the policy exposes more international students to immigration penalties and hurts schools. Klasko Immigration Law Partners is co-counsel for the schools.( Inside Higher Ed )

• Reed Smith, whose mergertalkswith Pepper Hamilton got nowhere back in 2016, said it is still mulling a U.S. tie-up. The firm also wants to convert its Europe and Middle East branch to “future proof” alternative business structure, according to a report. ( American Lawyer )

• A California task force is examining how technology can increase access to justice, including among other things, technical details of law firm ownership and fee splitting. The big picture “is how can we best responsibly harness innovation, innovation of tech and help bridge the gap of who can afford an attorney and who needs one,” a California Bar spokeswoman said. ( Bloomberg Law )

• The Justice Department yesterday told the U.S. Supreme Court that businesses can discriminate against workers based on their gender identity without violating federal law. The DOJ’s position is the subject a dispute with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. ( Bloomberg Law )

• Trump federal court nominees outnumbered the two senators attending yesterday’s controversial recess hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee. ( Bloomberg Law )

• Mayer Brown has hired three female in-house lawyers as partners this month. The firm said yesterday that white collar lawyer Audrey Harris is rejoining the firm from Australia-based resources company BHP, where she served as its first chief compliance officer. Harris, who was previously a partner at the firm, returns in Washington as a partner and co-leader of its global anti-corruption & FCPA (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) practice. ( MayerBrown ) Mayer Brown earlier this month hired Megan Webster, previously associate general counsel at BMO Financial Group, and Melissa Richards, formerly chief legal and risk officer at CMG Financial, both as partners. ( Corporate Counsel )

• Kilpatrick Townsend said veteran federal prosecutor Doug Gilfillan joined the firm as a partner on its white collar defense team in Atlanta. Gilfillan was deputy chief of the Economic Crimes Section in the U.S. Attorney’s office in Atlanta, before becoming chief of the Cyber Crimes and Intellectual Property Section in January. ( ) Gilfillan, who earlier in his career was a King & Spalding partner, recently helped prosecute a high profile embezzlement case of Atlanta lawyer Nathan Hardwick IV. ( Daily Report )

Lawyers, Law Firms, Laterals, and Deals

• Morrison & Foerster said former Assistant Secretary of Defense Joseph Benkert joined the firm in Washington as a senior adviser, on national security issues including the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. ( )

• Clifford Chance London-based partner Daud Khan will temporarily serve as general counsel atEasyJet. The U.K.-based budget airline’s general counsel, Kyla Mullins, left to return to television channel ITV as legal chief, according to a report. ITV lost its top lawyer, Andrew Garard, in July. ( Legal Business )

• Cooley client Clearlake Capital Group L.P. agreed to buy symplr, a healthcare governance, risk, and compliance software-as-a-service platform, from Pamlico Capital and The CapStreet Group, for about $550 million, according to reports. ( PE Hub )

• Shearman & Sterling’s Paris office said via email that it advised Celeste Management SA on its 46.2 million euro ($52.73 million) investment in French renewable energy company Neoen in the context of the company’s 628 million euro IPO on EuroNext Paris. Cleary Gottlieb and Linklaters advised Neoen. ( Financial Times ) ( Les Echos )

• JAMS, the alternative dispute resolution services provider, said Paul A. Bruno joined its panels in both the San Francisco Bay Area and Dallas, after a 37-year career in corporate counseling, mainly in the construction industry, most recently as managing general counsel at the Fluor Corporation. He was previously a Bay Area counsel at Thelen Reid & Priest. ( )

• DLA Piper said a team of its Mexico lawyers advised Mexican insurance company Qualitas Controladora in its acquisition of HDI Seguros, a Peruvian insurance company. ( DLAPiper )

Legal Actions

• Uninsured riders who rented scooters from Bird, Lime, and other companies tend to take off after they run into pedestrians, attorneys who’ve filed a new suit say. ( Bloomberg Law )


• After several deadly crashes involving self-driving vehicles this summer, federal safety regulators stopped allowing some vehicles on public streets while reviewing their agency’s risks and legal exposure from the emerging technology. ( Bloomberg Government )

• SimpleLegal, a legal e-billing and budget-management platform, launched an application that will ‘auto correct’ legal bills. ( Artificial Lawyer )

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Molly Ward.