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Wake Up Call: McDermott Named in Hedge Fund’s $52 Million Suit

Nov. 17, 2020, 1:44 PM

In today’s column, the University of California system reached a proposed $73 million settlement of sex abuse allegations against a UCLA gynecologist; SEC Chairman Jay Clayton says he plans to step down at year’s end; a Florida lawyer was arrested for allegedly extorting a former New York Giants football player.

  • Leading off, billionaire Chris Rokos, who founded an eponymous U.K. hedge fund, is suing McDermott Will & Emory and accounting giant Deloitte after a 39.4 million pounds ($52 million) tax break he was expecting got thrown out by U.K. authorities. Rokos says the firms should have warned him that his investment was risky. (Bloomberg News via BLAW)
  • The plunge in demand for legal services this year because of Covid is very different from the drop that happened in 2013, in the aftermath of the Great Recession, says a report. (American Lawyer)
  • A former general counsel of the NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers, Jim Perzik, died of complications from Covid-19. (The Recorder)
  • As Covid outbreaks have spurred courts across the country to go completely remote, Seattle’s King County Superior Court has conducted 70 jury trials in-person since August. (
  • The pandemic forced in-house leaders to become experts on health and cybersecurity risks, a new survey finds. (Corporate Counsel)

Biden Transition, Election

  • Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton said he will step down at year’s end. He’s a former partner and managing committee member at Wall Street firm Sullivan & Cromwell. (Bloomberg News via BLAW)
  • President Trump’s legal campaign to overturn his 2020 election defeat shrank further yesterday with the narrowing of a key Pennsylvania lawsuit and the retreat of supporters who had sued in four battleground states. (Bloomberg News via BLAW)
  • Meanwhile, a lawyer working in that campaign said she’s quitting Trump’s Pennsylvania lawsuit after getting harassed about her work on it, including by a Kirkland & Ellis attorney. (BLAW)
  • The Trump agency head blocking Biden’s official transition is said to be looking for a job. (

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Worklaw firm Littler Mendelson was accused by the Center for Workplace Compliance in Virginia federal court of unlawfully downloading over 2,100 pages of its copyrighted materials and misusing them in its work. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius represents the CWC. (BLAW)
  • The University of California system has reached a proposed $73 million settlement with seven women who accused a former UCLA gynecologist of sexual abuse. (
  • Sanford Heisler Sharp, the civil rights law firm known for bringing discrimination lawsuits against Big Law firms, is facing allegations of bias and discrimination from its own employees. (BLAW)
  • Jesse Barrett, husband of recently confirmed Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, said he plans to keep working at his South Bend, Ind. law firm. (BLAW)
  • A new book by a former Skadden Arps attorney draws on the stresses of her career to tell a story of addictive behaviors, emotional struggles, and recovery through group therapy. (BLAW)
  • A Florida lawyer was arrested for allegedly extorting a former player on the NFL’s New York Giants football team. (Daily Business Review)
  • Airbnb Inc.'s long-awaited stock market debut is getting guided by lawyers at Latham & Watkins and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. (BLAW)
  • Paul, Weiss advised Switzerland-based Covis Group on its $500 million acquisition of Massachusetts-based AMAG Pharmaceuticals, advised by Goodwin Procter. (

Laterals, Moves

  • Mayer Brown hired a five-lawyer banking and finance team for its renewable energy practice. The team is led by Hunton Andrews Kurth partners Eric Pogue, based in New York, and John Tormey, in Washington, and two associates from that firm. Associate Henry Jin joins from EDF Renewables Distributed Solutions, where he served as in-house counsel. At Hunton, Pogue was co-chair of the renewable energy practice, and before law school he was a project manager at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Tormey was earlier senior counsel at the Constellation Energy Group. (
  • Paul Hastings added energy, environmental, and infrastructure lawyers Chris Carr and Navi Dhillon as partners, in San Francisco. They arrive from Baker Botts, where both were partners and Carr led the West Coast energy and environment practice. Carr previously worked on environmental and natural resource issues for the Interior Department and State Department and headed Morrison & Foerster’s global energy and environment practice group. (
  • Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner got an experienced banking and finance partner from Vedder Price, bringing in Paul Hoffman into its Chicago office. Hoffman was earlier an assistant general counsel at bicycle and fitness equipment maker Roadmaster Industries. (
  • Norton Rose Fulbright appointed Dallas-based partner Richard Krumholz as the firm’s new global head of litigation and disputes, a group that has over 1,200 lawyers across 52 cities. Krumholz replaces Houston-based Gerry Pecht, who recently took over as the firm’s global chief executive.(
  • With employers facing a spike in Covid-related litigation, Blank Rome recruited veteran worklaw attorney William Anthony, former co-chair of Jackson Lewis and founder of that firm’s class actions and complex litigation group. He joins Blank Rome as a partner in New York, after 31 years at Jackson Lewis. (
  • As law firms expect more white collar work under a Biden presidency, McDermott said it hired health care litigator Brian Stimson, former acting general counsel and immediate past principal deputy general counsel at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The firm said Stimson will join the firm in January and will focus on investigations work. He’s also a former Alston & Bird partner. (American Lawyer)
  • Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck hired worklaw attorney John Mancebo as a partner in New York. Mancebo, a former LeClairRyan partner, was previously chair of Tressler LLP’s labor and employment practice group. (
  • Florida-founded Kelley Kronenberg said it expanded into New Orleans by adding insurance defense counselor and litigator Sean P. Sullivan as a partner and head of the New Orleans office. (


  • Hyliion Holdings Corp., which makes electrified powertrain solutions for trucks, hired auto-parts industry in-house leader Jose Oxholm as its vice president, general counsel and chief compliance officer. Oxholm, a former Akin Gump corporate associate, has worked in-house at Meritor, Ford Motor Company, Goodyear, and LoJack. (BLAW)


  • Legaltech News interviewed corporate lawyer and legal operations consultant Michael Callier about his new job as vice president, head of solutions and consultations, at legal services provider Factor. (Legaltech News)

Legal Education

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