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Wake Up Call: Microsoft Top Lawyer Calls Treatment of Huawei ‘Un-American’

Sept. 9, 2019, 11:36 AM
  • Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith criticized the Trump Administration’s treatment of Chinese telecom equipment company Huawei, a key customer for Microsoft Windows operating system. The administration, declaring Huawei a national security threat, has blocked it from buying products and services from American companies and plans to add it to an export blacklist. Smith said the actions lack a “sound basis in fact, logic, and the rule of law.” (Bloomberg Businessweek)

  • Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison is getting back top antitrust lawyer Andrew Finch, who recently left the Department of Justice’s antitrust division, where he was a principal deputy assistant attorney general. Before joining the DOJ, Finch was an antitrust partner at Paul Weiss. He rejoins the firm as co-chair of the firm’s antitrust practice group. (BLAW via BLB)

  • More than 40 state attorneys general are set to announce major antitrust probes of Facebook and Google today, according to a report. (WaPo)

  • A recent survey of law firm managing partners found that the worry that keeps most of them up at night is that a broad economic recession is on the horizon. But some firm leaders say they’ve been preparing for another recession, by making investments in technology and other efficiency-focused practices. (Big Law via BLB)

  • Revenue growth at 15 Washington law firms was 3% in 2019’s first six months, a little than half the industry’s overall growth nationwide, according to new data from Citi Private Bank. But there were also some positive signs for D.C. firms. (National Law Journal)

  • The legal sector added about 4,100 jobs in August, which is an anemic third of a percent better than the level in July, but better than the overall economy’s 0.08% jobs growth for the month, according to new U.S. data. The sector, rebounding from its loss of 1,000 jobs in July this year, employed 1,148,100 people in August, including attorneys, paralegals, legal secretaries, and others, up 5,700 jobs from August 2018. (American Lawyer)

  • Funds managed by New York-based private equity firm Fortress Capital Management are acquiring global litigation finance firm Vannin Capital. Vannin had previously announced it would pursue a public stock offering, but scrapped those plans in October 2018. (BLAW via BLB)

  • Uber Technologies Inc.'s Cooley and Boies Schiller Flexner lawyers beat claims by Boston-area cabs that alleged flouting of taxi rules by the ride hailing company amounts to unfair competition. (BLAW)

  • A judge set bail at $500,000 for a Georgia-based in-house lawyer at a supply chain and technology company facing murder charges in alleged road rage incident. (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Lawyers, Law Firms, Deals

  • Sidley Austin represented Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets Inc. in its $367.5 million deal to sell Leaf River Energy Center, a Mississippi-based natural gas storage business, to NJR Midstream. (PE Hub)

  • DLA Piper said its clients helicopter services company PHI, Inc. and various PHI affiliates have emerged from bankruptcy protection less than six months after filing their chapter 11 cases in Texas federal bankruptcy court. (

  • DLA Piper represented Raven Capital Management and Sculptor Media in the financing and production of action thriller film The Minuteman, set to star Liam Neeson and to begin production this month. ( (Deadline)

  • As older lawyers retire, more than 200 New York bar associations are competing for a shrinking pool of potential members, according to a report. (New York Law Journal)

  • Some say all lawyers are prostitutes, but this criminal defense attorney in Iowa actually works as one in her spare time. (Above The Law)

Laterals, Moves, Promotions

  • Womble Bond Dickinson added Greenberg Traurig mass torts litigator Sara Tucker as a partner in its product liability practice in Atlanta. She focuses on medical device and pharmaceutical litigation. (Womble Bond Dickinson)

  • Mayer Brown said litigator Emilie Vasseur joined the firm as a partner in Paris, arriving from Darrois, Villey Maillot Brochier. (

  • Former Democratic Virginia Congressman Jim Moran joined the Washington government relations team of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, arriving from McDermott Will & Emery. (

  • Boston-based Carbonite Inc., a cloud-based backup service, hired tech company in-house veteran Scott Semel as acting general counsel, one of several high-level appointments at the company in the wake of a recent major acquisition. Semel has been top lawyer at Novell, Inc. and Intralinks Holdings, Inc., was associate GC at IBM, and arrives most recently from Information Builders, Inc., where he was acting GC and chief people officer. (Corporate Counsel)

  • Barnes & Thornburg added trusts and estates lawyer Jennifer Mendel as a partner in Chicago in its corporate department. (

Regulators and Enforcement

  • Two partners in KPMG’s financial services consulting division have left the Big Four accounting firm, after their boss was ousted as a result of a probe into his use of WhatApp. (Financial Times)

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at; Molly Ward in Washington at

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