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Wake Up Call: ‘Quiet’ Sidley Moves May Herald Miami Office

May 12, 2022, 12:38 PM

In today’s column, Manhattan law firms’ average daily in-office attendance was at 46% mid-April, a recent survey found; Atlanta firms are seeing strong client demand for advice on NFTs; “no-code” contract intelligence platform Evisort said it raised $100 million in Series C funding.

  • Leading off, Sidley Austin may be planning to open an office in Miami. A report said the Chicago-founded firm has been “quietly” moving New York partners to the city and locally hiring partners from Big Law firms in the city. (American Lawyer) In Tampa, the sunshine state’s biggest law firm by headcount, Cole, Scott & Kissane P.A., leased 42,500 square feet of office space. (Patch.com)
  • More than two years after the pandemic forced law firms to shift to remote work, average daily employee attendance at Manhattan firms was at 46% in mid-April, according to survey data from The Partnership for New York. That’s expected to improve to 54% by September, the survey found. (Partnership for New York City)
  • A Maryland federal judge ruled that the closure of a university campus during the pandemic is not a valid reason to extend a deadline for serving a process in a Title IX complaint. (Law.com) A Florida federal court gave a green light to Liberty University students’ lawsuit seeking a tuition refund because of the school’s shutdown during the pandemic. (Law.com)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Atlanta firms including Troutman Pepper, Kilpatrick Townsend and Baker Donelson said they’re seeing more client demand for advice related to nonfungible tokens. But the firms said there’s a shortage of attorneys with the expertise needed to advise in the space. (Daily Report Online)
  • New York federal prosecutors agreed to seek significantly lower prison sentences for the two lawyers charged with firebombing a New York Police Department vehicle during Black Lives Matter protests in May 2020. (New York Law Journal)
  • As law schools return to in-person commencements this spring, they’re lining up big names in the legal profession as speakers. (Reuters)

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • Arnold & Porter grabbed Norton Rose Fulbright partner Scott Berson to expand its corporate and finance practice in New York; corporate and securities attorney Eric Graben joined Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough’s Greenville, South Carolina, office as a partner. He joins from Wyche Law Firm, where he was a shareholder; Orrick snagged Willkie Farr & Gallagher energy and infrastructure partner David Aaronson in Houston; Dentons added Cole Schotz fund formation lawyer Christopher Kula as a corporate partner in New York; Seyfarth Shaw said former labor and employment partner Ashley Cano is the firm’s new pro bono & philanthropy partner, taking over from Allegra Nethery, who helped create the position and has overseen the program for 15 years. (Seyfarth.com)
  • Mintz snagged Morrison & Foerster’s chief human resources & administrative officer Jason McCord to be its chief operating officer; Honigman said veteran law firm executive Thomas Gaughan joined the firm as COO based in Chicago, taking the spot vacated when Robert Kubic retired. Gaughan arrives from ArentFox Schiff; Dentons promoted chief finance officer Darran Stevenson to COO and Helen Simpson to practice partner for its UK, Ireland and Middle East region. It said the new roles replace its managing director role; Fox Rothschild hired Barnes & Thornburg family law attorney Sonja Trom Eayrs as a partner in Minneapolis; Blank Rome got matrimonial & family law attorney Jennifer Toghian as an associate in Los Angeles. (BlankRome.com)
  • The world’s biggest crypto exchange Binance announced former California federal prosecutor Joshua Eaton as its first deputy general counsel; Switzerland-based Biotech firm Pharvaris hired veteran pharma industry in-house leader Joan Schmidt as its chief legal officer starting June 1. She was recently executive vice president, general counsel and secretary at Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which was acquired by Pfizer Inc. in March. (Pharvaris.com)

Technology

  • “No-code” contract intelligence platform Evisort said it raised $100 million in Series C funding in a round led by tech investment company TCV with participation from private equity firms Breyer Capital and General Atlantic, and Microsoft’s venture capital fund M12, among others. (Evisort)

To contact the correspondent on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at rMitchell@correspondent.bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer in New York at copfer@bloomberglaw.com; Darren Bowman at dbowman@bloomberglaw.com