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Wake Up Call: Orrick Poaches PwC Team for London Cyber and Privacy Practice

Jan. 27, 2020, 12:53 PM

In today’s column, TikTok hired a Microsoft in-house veteran to be its first global general counsel; Pier 1 Imports top lawyer Robert Bostrom died; and a St. Louis judge postponed a trial over Bayer AG’s Roundup to allow the parties time to work out a settlement.

  • Leading off, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe said it is launching a cybersecurity and privacy practice in London to help companies address litigation and regulatory enforcement in the U.K. and European Union. The practice starts with two lawyers hired from Pricewaterhouse Coopers UK: Keily Blair, who was leader of contentious data protection strategy at PwC, and James Lloyd. They were both previously at Morrison & Foerster earlier. (BLAW) (Orrick)

  • Short-form mobile video site TikTok Inc. hired a veteran in-house IP specialist at Microsoft Corp., Erich Andersen, to be its first global general counsel, starting later this month. Andersen has been at Microsoft for over 20 years, most recently as corporate vice president and chief intellectual property counsel. (PR Newswire)

  • Chicago-based litigation finance firm GLS Capital is launching with $345 million in capital commitments to invest in lawsuits. (BLAW)

  • Robert E. Bostrom, the chief legal officer at home decor retailer Pier 1 Imports Inc. who had previous roles as top lawyer at mortgage lender Freddie Mac and clothing chain Abercrombie & Fitch Co., has died. (Corporate Counsel)

  • A St. Louis circuit court judge last week indefinitely postponed a trial in a lawsuit that alleges the Monsanto weed killer Roundup caused people to develop cancer. The judge said the delay is to give attorneys for Bayer AG and four plaintiffs time to work on a settlement. (St. Louis Public Radio)

  • An English High Court last week ruled that the former owners of a failed Russian bank engaged in a “massive fraud,” which among other things used a television advertising campaign starring Bruce Willis. The court ordered the former owners of National Trust Bank, now living in the U.K. and U.S., to pay $900 million in compensation, according to reports. A Steptoe & Johnson LLP U.K. team represented the bank. (Financial Times) (Lexology.com)

  • Hogan Lovells represented the U.S. Grains Council, and agriculture industry companies, in their successful challenge to Peruvian corn producers’s claim they were harmed by U.S. corn exports to Peru. (Indecopi) (Diario Gestion)

  • President Trump’s lawyers rejected calls by Democrats for Chief Justice John Roberts to settle disputes over whether to call witnesses. (PBS.org)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Scandal-ridden Wells Fargo & Co. is expected to choose an external candidate as its new legal chief. (BLAW)

  • MoneyGram International, Inc. named former Starbuck counsel Robert L. Villaseñor general counsel and corporate secretary. He joined the payments company in 2018 and has been its interim top lawyer since October 2019. (PR Newswire)

  • Winston & Strawn grabbed the co-chairs of Locke Lord‘s global capital markets practice Eric Johnson and Michael Blankenship as partners in Houston, Texas, expanding its own energy capital markets and M&A team in the town. (Winston.com)

  • Management-side worklaw firm Littler Mendelson added veteran Department of Labor litigator Dane Steffenson as special counsel in its Atlanta office, where he will focus on Employee Retirement Income Security Act, wage and hour, and Occupational Safety and Health Act litigation. (Littler)

  • As many as 40 U.S. oil and natural gas companies could file for bankruptcy this year as the industry continues to grapple with depressed prices for the commodities, according to Haynes & Boone. (BN via BLAW)

Laterals, Moves

  • Latham & Watkins hired life sciences patent litigator Adam Perlman from Williams & Connolly as a partner based in Washington. And more moves at intellectual property firms and IP-related organizations. (BLAW)

  • DLA Piper added Baker McKenzie real estate lawyer Matthew Alshouse as a partner in Chicago. He’s a transactional attorney with a focus on the private equity, real estate, and infrastructure industries. (DLA Piper)

  • DLA Piper also added patent litigator and medical doctor Christopher Mikson as a partner working from its Philadelphia and Washington offices. He arrives from Mayer Brown and has previously been at Jones Day, Akin Gump, and Saul Ewing. (DLAPiper.com)

Promotions

  • Littler promoted 28 lawyers (18 women) to shareholder on Jan. 1. (Littler.com)

  • Philadelphia-based Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young promoted six lawyers (five women) to partner. (Stradley.com)

Legal Actions, Decisions

  • A San Diego jury ordered Apple Inc., represented by DLA Piper, to pay Quarterhill Inc.’s WiLan $85 million for infringing patents related to wireless communications. (The Recorder)

  • A meeting this week of State Attorneys General with Justice Department lawyers could lead to a combination of separate investigations into Google, according to a report. (WSJ) (BN via BLAW)

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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