Wake Up Call: Mintz Will Require Vaccination to Enter Office

June 30, 2021, 12:27 PM

In today’s column, Milbank, the firm that started this year’s run of pay hikes for associates, upped its first raise to match the higher Davis Polk scale; meanwhile, a Texas-based litigation boutique is beating the pay standard by $5,000 for every seniority year; South Florida firms are collaborating on a class-action lawsuit in the Surfside condo collapse.

  • Leading off, Mintz joined the few Big Law firms to say they will require employees and lawyers to be vaccinated against Covid-19 before they can enter their offices, with some exceptions, according to a report. In its new return-to-office policy, Mintz also called for lawyers to spend about 60% of their time in-office starting Sept. 13, while staff’s in-office requirements will depend on their roles; Dentons, meanwhile, joined the list of firms that want their personnel to be in-office around three days a week starting in September. (American Lawyer)
  • As Covid-19 concerns start to ease, remote work may be losing some of its appeal, a report says. (American Lawyer) But young e-discovery professionals say they want to keeping working remote. (Legaltech News)
  • Milbank, which was the first firm to raise associate pay earlier this month, only to get topped by Davis Polk, has now raised again to match the market standard. (Above the Law) Houston litigation boutique Smyser Kaplan & Veselka is matching the Davis Polk standard, which runs from $205,000 to $365,000, according to year of seniority. Big Law firm Alston & Bird’s memo matches the scale for all but its last year. Another Texas-founded litigation boutique, Susman Godfrey, is beating the standard by $5,000 for every year. (Texas Lawyer) Toronto, Canada-based Torys is matching the standard for its New York associates. (Above the Law) Katten Muchin is raising salaries for its business professionals’ salaries by 2.5% across the board. (American Lawyer)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • South Florida law firms are collaborating on a proposed class action in the Surfside condo disaster seeking at least $5 million in damages, excluding costs and attorney fees, from the Champlain Towers South Condominium Association. (Daily Business Review)
  • A boom in Latin America tech deal work is fueling a recruiting drive for U.S.-based lawyers who know the region and the pace of tech deals. (Law.com International) U.K. elite firm Linklaters said it launched a Mexico-dedicated practice group based in Mexico City. (Linklaters.com)
  • Dechert advised JPMorgan Chase & Co. on its acquisition of values-based investing fintech company OpenInvest, which was advised by Morrison & Foerster. No financial terms were disclosed for the transaction that is expected to close in the third quarter. (Bloomberg News)
  • Girardi Keese, law firm of disgraced litigator Tom Girardi, got approved for a Paycheck Protection Program loan worth over $1.5 million less than a year before it went bankrupt, a report says. (Page 6)

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • The Securities and Exchange Commission recruited New Jersey attorney general Gurbir Grewal, former federal prosecutor, as its enforcement chief starting July 26; Stroock got three veteran white collar and securities litigators from Orrick. Former SEC enforcement branch chief Richard Morvillo joins in Washington and will lead Stroock’s white collar & investigations practice. Former New York federal prosecutor Scott Morvillo and Ellen Murphy join in New York. All three were previously at Morvillo LLP, acquired by Orrick in late 2017; Troutman Pepper said retiring Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold D. Melton will join the firm’s national litigation practice group in Atlanta on July 19. (Troutman.com)
  • Bracewell grabbed Covington & Burling’s futures and derivatives practice leader Anne Termine, a former chief trial attorney at the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, as a government enforcement and investigations partner in Washington; Alston & Bird added veteran McKool Smith patent litigator Ted Stevenson as a partner in Dallas; Morgan Lewis said Baker McKenzie international immigration lawyer Vivien Yu is joining the firm as a partner later this summer. According to her LinkedIn profile, she’s currently based in Hong Kong and advises on China-related matters. (MorganLewis.com)
  • DLA Piper added commercial real estate lawyer Brian Winterhalter as of counsel in Reston, Va. He arrives after close to 14 years at Cooley; Holland & Hart launched a cannabis industry group to be led by Denver-based partner Rachel Gillette, who arrived with a three-lawyer team from Greenspoon Marder, where she was Cannabis group chair. (HollandHart.com)

To contact the correspondent on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at rMitchell@correspondent.bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com; Darren Bowman at dbowman@bloomberglaw.com

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