Bloomberg Law
Free Newsletter Sign Up
Bloomberg Law
Advanced Search Go
Free Newsletter Sign Up

Wake Up Call: Paul Weiss Organizes Pro Bono Effort on Covid-19

March 17, 2020, 12:43 PM

In today’s column, David Wright Tremaine said the staffer who died in Washington state last week did not have Covid-19; A Baker Donelson partner diagnosed with the virus is in critical condition in the New Orleans area; while Morgan Lewis said an employee in Philadelphia who contracted the virus after contact with a client is in self-quarantine. Several firms are encouraging employees to work from home, but they’re also keeping offices open. A Northwestern Law professor plans to teach a course focused on legal issues raised by Covid-19.

  • Leading off, Paul Weiss Chairman Brad Karp is organizing a pro bono effort of hundreds of lawyers from the firm to help people navigate a complex and rapidly expanding collection of federal, state, local, private and non-profit emergency resources for individuals hit by the novel coronavirus Covid-19. (American Lawyer)

  • Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law professor Dan Rodriguez, a former dean of the school, is planning to launch an online course early next week focused on the Covid-19 pandemic. (

  • A Baker Donelson construction law partner diagnosed with Covid-19 is in critical condition in the New Orleans area. The firm said no other team members appear to be affected, but it said employees and staff in its New Orleans and Mandeville offices will work remotely until those offices reopen March 23. (BLAW)

  • Morgan, Lewis & Bockius said it is keeping offices open after an employee in its Philadelphia office contracted Covid-19 following contact with a client who later tested positive for the virus. The firm implemented a voluntary work-from-home policy for two weeks starting March 16. (American Lawyer)

  • A Washington state-based Davis Wright Tremaine executive legal assistant who died after experiencing flu-like symptoms did not have Covid-19 but had other health problems, the firm said. (BLAW)

  • Akin Gump hired an epidemiologist and strongly encouraged employees to work from home, but its offices remain accessible. Squire Patton Boggs also encouraged remote work, while keeping offices open. And more updates on law firm moves in response to the pandemic. (American Lawyer)

  • The U.S. Supreme Court postponed upcoming arguments, and other courts across the country postponed trials. (Bloomberg News via BLAW)

  • The American Bar Association canceled more April and May events. ( The Corporate Legal Operations Consortium canceled its annual convention scheduled for Las Vegas in May. And the American Bankruptcy Institute announced the cancellation of its annual spring meeting scheduled for April 23-25 in Washington. (

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Fried Frank extended its “long hot streak” in its latest fiscal year, posting $776 million gross revenue, up 13.3% from 2018, while its average profits per equity partner rose 16% to $3.79 million, early data show. (New York Law Journal)

  • With oil prices plunging, Texas law firms are adding bankruptcy lawyers. (Texas Lawyers)

  • Transatlantic firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner decided to outsource document production work in London in a move expected to lead to layoffs, a report says. (The Lawyer)

  • Willkie Farr & Gallagher advised private equity firm Insight Partners on its $1.15 billion sale of Israeli cybersecurity company Checkmarx to PE firm Hellman & Friedman, which got advice from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. ( (

Laterals, Moves

  • Denton’s Paris office got Orrick partner Guillaume Kessler, who specializes in private equity and public and private M&A, to join as a partner. He was previously France managing partner at Olswang France, which is now CMS. (

  • In Washington: Former U.S. Treasury national security lawyer Christian C. Contardo joined Lowenstein Sandler as a global trade and policy associate. He’s also had other national security and enforcement legal roles at other federal agencies and was an international arbitration attorney at White & Case. (

  • In New York: DLA Piper grabbed private equity partners James Kelly, Ilya Bubel, and Peter Alfano from Winston & Strawn. Kelly and Bubel join the firm’s corporate practice, while Alfano joins its finance practice. Kelly will lead the firm’s New York private equity practice. (BLAW)

  • Kramer Levin hired private equity and M&A lawyer Adi Herman as a partner. He arrives from Kirkland & Ellis. (

  • Greenspoon Marder added two lawyers to its hospitality, alcohol, and leisure industry group. Senior counsel Joseph MacLellan joined in New York. He was previously of counsel at Darrow Everett, and GC and executive vice president at a manufacturing company. Of counsel Roger Tefft, who joins in Orange County, California, was in-house at Live Nation Entertainment for nine years. (
  • O’Melveny & Myers nabbed a two-partner entertainment finance team from Morgan Lewis, including Terrence L. Dugan and Christopher A. Owens. (BLAW)

  • And in an L.A. media and entertainment lateral, Loeb & Loeb recruited Sheppard Mullin trial lawyer Jim Curry as a partner in its litigation department. (

  • In Chicago, King & Spalding recruited securities and corporate partner Craig Garvey. He was most recently at Walgreens Boots Alliance, where he led securities and corporate governance. Before that, he was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis. (

  • In Texas, Akin Gump added two longtime Haynes and Boone partners with M&A and securities expertise as partners in its corporate group in Dallas. Ryan Cox, co-head of Haynes and Boone’s capital markets and securities practice, and Eric Williams, head of its mergers and acquisitions practice. (BLAW)

  • And Mayer Brown got Bracewell commercial and transactional energy practitioner Dale Smith from as a partner in Houston. (Mayer Brown)


  • New York-based Windels Marx promoted two lawyers to partner in New York. It promoted three to special counsel, one in New York and two in New Jersey. (

  • Offshore firm Appleby appointed private equity partner Norman Klein as managing partner of its Cayman Islands office. It also announced other appointments. (


  • Coinbase Inc. top lawyer Brian Brooks is leaving the digital asset exchange to join the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as its chief operating officer and first deputy comptroller, beginning April 1. Brooks, former managing partner of O’Melveny & Myers’ Washington office, was general counsel of Fannie Mae. (Corporate Counsel)


  • The legal services industry should be able to shrug off travel bans caused by Covid-19, a report says. (Legaltech News)

Legal Education

  • Yale, Stanford, and Harvard top U.S. News & Laws Report’s new law school rankings for 2021. (

To contact the correspondent on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at; Darren Bowman at