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Wake Up Call: O’Melveny’s Petrocelli Savors Win in AT&T-Time Warner Merger

June 13, 2018, 11:05 AM

• AT&T Inc. was cleared by federal judge Richard Leon to take over Time Warner Inc. in an $85 billion deal that will fuel the mobile-phone giant’s evolution into a media powerhouse and could spark a wave of new mergers. “This decision was a sound and proper rejection of all of the government’s arguments to stop this merger,” said the company’s lead lawyer, O’Melveny & Myers partner Daniel Petrocelli. ( Bloomberg ) The ruling was a win for Petrocelli, and a rebuke for President Donald Trump and Makan Delrahim, his antitrust chief at the U.S. Department of Justice. ( Bloomberg Businessweek ) ( Deadline )

• The powerful 1920’s anti-fraud law that New York authorities used to prosecute former leaders of the defunct law firm Dewey & LeBoef, among other things, got a haircut yesterday from the state’s top court. The court slashed the law’s statute-of limitations in a ruling that narrowed an $11 billion lawsuit against Credit Suisse Group AG. ( Bloomberg via BLB )

• As hedge funds and other financial clients ratchet up their stakes in riskier investments, law firms including Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Latham Watkins, and Cadwalader are getting work for their special situation practice groups that have expertise in complex investments. ( BLB )

• Senior female lawyers are increasingly in high demand in a low-supply market, and that means they should be pushing for more money and power, according to Hilarie Bass, the ABA president and a co-president of Greenberg Traurig, and other insiders. ( American Lawyer )

• Manatt, Phelps & Phillips next year plans to join a small group of major law firms that have women leaders. The L.A.-based firm said that in July 2019 its privacy and cybersecurity practice chair, Donna Wilson, will become its CEO and managing partner. She’ll take over from Bill Quicksilver, who steps down after about 12 years. ( The Recorder )

• Bird Rides Inc., the electric scooter company, said it hired former FanDuel and Hulu in-house attorney Wendy Mantell as its deputy general counsel. The company has faced regulatory pressure in San Francisco and other cities. ( Corporate Counsel ) Meanwhile, personal injury lawyers are smelling opportunity for big potential payouts from accidents involving the scooters and their riders. ( Bloomberg )

• Lowenstein Sandler said Ryan Wilson, a former assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, returned to the firm as a partner in the capital markets litigation and white collar defense practices. Wilson was previously counsel with Lowenstein from 2013 until early 2016, when he joined President Obama’s Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Task Force. ( )

• Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit will pay $15.7 million to settle a U.S. regulator’s allegations that its traders duped mortgage bond customers. ( Bloomberg )

• #MeToo hasn’t helped workers at the ATF, this report says. Lisa Kincaid, for three decades a special agent for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, says she never felt truly threatened until she began an internal investigation into sexual harassment at the agency. ( Bloomberg Businessweek )

Lawyers and Law Firms

• Star trial lawyer David Boies talked about the role of trial lawyers in convincing juries, using as an example the “narrative” he constructed in representing IBM in one of the largest antitrust cases in history. On podcast Behind the Trial. ( via SoundCloud )

• Orrick of counsel Brian Moran, Trump’s nomination to lead the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle, reported a $700,000 salary for 2017 and clients including Union Carbide Corp., Microsoft Corp., eBay Inc., Pfizer Inc., Dow Agrosciences Inc., Lyft Inc. and dozens of other corporate and government agency clients. ( The Recorder )

• Willkie said it advised FacilitySource Holdings, LLC, which agreed to be acquired for about $290 million by CBREGroup, Inc., the commercial real estate services and investment firm. CBRE said the deal will boost its ability to deliver tech-based integrated solutions for occupier clients. ( )

• George Conway, the Wachtell Lipton partner married to White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, recently published anessay that systematically takes down Trump’s argument that the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller was unconstitutional. ( Washington Post )

Laterals, Moves

• Two female Munger Tolles litigation associates in Washington, both Yale Law grads, got hired by U.S. Supreme Court justice Stephen Breyer as clerks starting in 2019. ( National Law Journal )

Legal Education

• After it came out that 188 Big Law firms ignored a recent law school poll on whether they require new associates to sign mandatory arbitration agreements, one Harvard Law School student wondered, “What are these firms hiding?” ( BLB )

• After the ABA revoked the accreditation of Arizona Summit Law School, attorneys familiar with the process said the move was justified. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor.