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Wake Up Call: New Fox News GC Was Top Lawyer at U.S. Chamber of Commerce

May 7, 2018, 11:16 AM

• Fox News said a new general counsel starts today, former Jones Day partner Lily Fu Claffee, whose most recent post was as top lawyer for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Meanwhile, Fox News executive VP for legal and business affairs, Dianne Brandi, remains on “voluntary personal leave.” The network faces at least four lawsuits accusing Brandi of failing to adequately vet sexual harassment and discrimination complaints against late CEO Roger Ailes and ex-host Bill O’Reilly. ( Corporate Counsel )

• White House lawyer Michael McGinley is leaving to join Dechert as a partner in Philadelphia, by way of the firm’s Washington, D.C., office. McGinley was previously at Kirkland & Ellis and served as law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. He plans to focus on litigation at Dechert, particularly on appellate and complex commercial matters. ( National Law Journal )

• A longtime legal secretary for Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton made the news by leaving over $8 million in her will for college scholarships. Sylvia Bloom started at Cleary in 1947 as one of the firm’s first employees, and during her 67 years there accumulated a fortune by buying small amounts of the same stocks she purchased for her boss. She retired at age 96. ( New York Times )

• Bermuda-based offshore law firm Appleby has reportedly settled with the British Broadcasting Corp. in its dispute, also involving the Guardian newspaper, over a leak of millions of confidential documents in the global tax-avoidance scandal known as the “Paradise Papers.” BBC hired U.K. firm Pinsent Masons for advice, while Appleby is represented by Osborne Clarke, and the Guardian relied on London-based firms and in-house counsel. ( )

• Sullivan & Cromwell lawyers for Wells Fargo & Co. said the bank reached a $480 million settlement of federal securities fraud class actions over the bank’s fake accounts scandal. The bank previously disclosed in an SEC filing that it agreed to pay $480 million. ( The Recorder )

• U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg couldn’t get a Big Law job after graduating top of her class at Columbia Law School in 1959, but she eventually managed to become the second woman to serve on the court, and is now a pop icon of the left. Filmmakers Julie Cohen and Betsy West talked recently to BLB about their new documentary “RBG.” Podcast ( BLB ) And here’s the story of how Cohen and West got access to Ginsburg. ( BLB )

• Three Morrison & Foerster associates’ proposed maternity discrimination class action against MoFo is unusual because the plaintiffs hope to sue anonymously, at least until the case goes to trial. ( BLB )

• Amazon, Uber, Lyft, and other Gig economy companies may have to rethink their relationships with workers in California after a new ruling by the California Supreme Court. ( Bloomberg )

• Technology claims made by T-Mobile Inc. and Sprint Corp. for their proposed merger are forcing U.S. antitrust enforcers to get a grasp on new technologies that birth new industries. ( Bloomberg Law ) Tech giants including Google and Facebook look headed for increased antitrust scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission’s new slate of leaders. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

Lawyers and Law Firms

• The Reed Smith lawyer representing a firm controlled by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian caterer said to have close ties to President Vladimir Putin, is aggressively defending his client against charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller. ( Bloomberg )

• Kentucky Derby winner Justify is owned in part by C. Edward Glasscock, the chairman emeritus of Frost Brown Todd, Louisville’s biggest law firm and a leader in equine law. ( American Lawyer )

•Cozen O’Connor said its corporate and international practices advised Eurofins Scientific SE in its $670 million acquisition of Covance Food Solutions from Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, which is subject to regulatory approval. ( )

Legal Actions

• Ripple Labs Inc., the fintech startup that controls the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency, was hit by a lawsuit alleging that it led a scheme to raise hundreds of millions of dollars through unregistered sales of its XRP tokens. ( Bloomberg via BLB )

• A federal appeals court again reversed the conviction of former Jefferies Group LLC managing director Jesse Litvak, who is serving prison time for lying to customers about the prices of mortgage-backed bonds. Litvak is represented by Williams & Connolly partner Kannon Shanmugam. ( Bloomberg )


• The comprehensive EU data protection regulation set to take force May 25 will have a big impact on U.S. multinationals but it is unlikely to spur efforts for a similar national law and regulation in the U.S., Wiley Rein partner Kirk Nahra said. ( BLB )


• #MeToo in Korea. How an accusation in a poem brought down Korea’s national poet and exposed sexual harassment in the country’s literary establishment. ( Paris Review )

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor.