Wake Up Call: New York Courts Ease Some Covid Safety Rules

June 15, 2021, 12:24 PM

In today’s column, the SEC announced a new general counsel and the first Black woman to head one of its main departments; several Kirkland & Ellis corporate partners jumped to other firms; DLA Piper exited Ukraine, ceding its Kiev office to a European firm.

  • Leading off, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York yesterday said it’s easing some pandemic safety protocols for fully vaccinated persons as it continues to increase in-person proceedings and other activities. With Covid vaccination rates headed up and infections headed down in the area, the New York state court system also eased its mask policy for fully vaccinated staff members and judges. (New York Law Journal)
  • A law professor says he’s skeptical about how flexible Big Law firms will be in their remote work policies post-Covid. He points to firms’ heavy investments in their physical presences in major markets New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. (American Lawyer)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said Boston College law professor Renee Jones will become the agency’s head of corporation finance on June 21, the first Black woman to lead one of its four major divisions. Harvard Law vice dean and former Wachtell partner John Coates, who’d held the corporate finance post on an acting basis, will be the SEC’s general counsel, also June 21. (Bloomberg News via BLAW)
  • As DLA Piper exits Ukraine, dozens of lawyers form its Kiev office have moved to Central and Eastern European firm Kinstellar. (Global Legal Post)
  • The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which runs the Grammy Awards, is opposing an open hearing on its reasons for ousting former CEO Deborah Dugan, the Times reports. Dugan among other things alleged she was sexually harassed by a then-Greenberg Traurig shareholder who was the academy’s outside general counsel. She’s represented by Wigdor. (NYT)

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • Kirkland & Ellis’ corporate practice saw several partner exits this week. Holland & Knight’s Chicago office grabbed Kirkland M&A and private equity lawyer Ryan Jackson as a partner; also in Chicago, Latham & Watkins got Elisabeth “Lisa” Martin as a partner in Latham’s capital markets and public company representation practice. Martin also plans to extend her practice to Boston. In Los Angeles, Kirkland private equity and M&A lawyer Tanya Ryan joined Latham; Kirkland’s London office lost M&A partner Rebecca Villarreal, who jumped to Proskauer Rose as a partner; Kirkland also lost restructuring partner W. Benjamin Winger to DLA Piper in Chicago, which also got Milbank restructuring of counsel Dennis O’Donnell as a partner in New York. (DLAPiper.com)
  • Skadden Arps derivatives of counsel Jonathan Marcus, who spent close to four years as general counsel of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission under the Obama administration, joined Reed Smith as a partner in Washington in its energy & natural resources industry group; in Houston, McGuireWoods got former energy private equity firm top lawyer Edmund Daniels as a partner in its M&A and energy transactions practice. He joins from Haynes and Boone, where he was a partner; Baker Botts got antitrust lawyer Taylor M. Owings, former Justice Department antitrust chief of staff and senior counsel, as a partner in Washington. (BakerBotts.com)
  • O’Melveny & Myers added two technology-focused corporate partners in California: Adit Khorana in Silicon Valley from Cooley and Daniel Wu in Century City/Los Angeles from Fox Rothschild; Perkins Coie hired patent litigator Lori Gordon as a partner in its intellectual property practice in Washington. She arrives from King & Spalding; Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman’s London office got asset finance lawyer Antony Single as a partner. He arrives from Clifford Chance, where he’d been 20 years; in Wilmington, De., Barnes & Thornburg grabbed a group of five business lawyers, including three partners, plus two consultants and a paralegal, from Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath. (BTLaw.com)
  • The general counsel at biotech firm Streck Inc. said he was “floored” after finding out at an HR meeting that his job had been eliminated “effectively immediately.” (Corporate Counsel)


  • Houston-based legal software firm CloudNine said it had a “major funding round.” The company said it plans to hire and expand its product suite of electronic discovery automation software for litigation, investigations and audits. (Houston Business Journal)

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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