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Wake Up Call: Reed Smith Eyes March 1 Office Reopening in U.S.

Feb. 8, 2022, 1:42 PM

In today’s column, most U.K. law firm partners in a recent survey said junior lawyers are getting too much money thanks to “aggressive” U.S. firms; Morgan Lewis told associates they’ll get market-matching salaries, but they’ll have to wait for April’s first paycheck; Duane Morris added 12 attorneys, including seven partners, in Newark, N.J.

  • Leading off, Pittsburgh headquartered Reed Smith said its U.S. employees will begin heading back to their offices on March 1 within its new flexible work policy. (Pittsburgh Business Journal) In January, a surge in omicron-variant Covid-19 infections spurred several firms to put off or pause planned reopenings and courts adjusted proceedings. (BLAW)
  • An “overwhelming majority” of U.K. law firm partners told a recent survey the talent war that started in the U.S. has led to junior lawyers getting paid too much. Some proposed caps on pay. ( International) London firms face a salary war for young lawyers but also tougher fee negotiations and competition from lower-charging alternative providers, another report says. (The Lawyer)
  • Morgan, Lewis & Bockius told U.S. associates they’ll get market scale salary hikes, but they’ll have to wait until March 31 to let the market settle. (Above The Law)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • The German branch of KPMG Law, the accounting giant’s legal arm, is expanding its recruitment beyond major cities to hire junior talent in smaller, regional cities that lack major law firms. ( International)
  • A Hong Kong High Court judge rejected American corporate lawyer Samuel Bickett’s appeal of his conviction for assaulting a police officer in 2019. Bickett, a former Bank of America Merrill Lynch compliance director, said he will appeal to a higher court. (WaPo)
  • U.K.-headquartered international firm Withers advised its lawyers to avoid using traditional “Dear Sir/Madam” salutations for letters, and to favor more “gender neutral” language. (Daily Mail)

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • Duane Morris added 12 attorneys in Newark, N.J., including seven partners, focused on employment and environmental matters, as well as complex commercial litigation. The group, led by trial partner John B. McCusker, includes two special counsel, plus associates and staff. ( It arrives from McCusker, Anselmi, Rosen & Carvelli, P.C., which rebranded after McCusker’s exit. (New Jersey Law Journal) Holland & Knight hired longtime Reed Smith estate and tax planning attorney Dahesh Patel as a partner in Philadelphia. (
  • Weil, Gotshal & Manges grabbed Willkie Farr & Gallagher private equity partner Robert Rizzo in New York; health-care deal maker Rubin Pusha III joined McGuireWoods as a partner in Chicago; King & Spalding got back corporate partner Zach Cochran, who returned to the firm in Atlanta after less than a year in-house in San Francisco at enterprise software firm C3 AI; Polsinelli brought in Stroock leasing attorney Benjamin Lee as a shareholder in its real estate practice in Washington; Haynes and Boone added energy litigator Lauren Brogdon in Houston as a partner. She was recently senior associate at Norton Rose Fulbright. (
  • Nixon Peabody appointed litigation partner John Ruskusky as leader of its complex disputes practice; Washington-based intellectual property firm Finnegan named litigation partner Esther Lim its first-ever chief diversity and inclusion officer; U.K. elite firm Slaughter and May named new heads of its corporate and M&A practice. (Global Legal Post)
  • The State Bar of California’s general counsel, Vanessa Holton, announced she’s retiring in July; charity nonprofit United Way Worldwide named a new senior leadership team including longtime higher education in-house leader Odessa Jackson as general counsel and chief risk officer. Jackson, a former federal prosecutor in Maryland and Washington, D.C., arrives from University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, where she was general counsel, chief compliance officer, and board secretary; Indiana University hired Barnes & Thornburg employment litigation partner Anthony Prather as vice president and chief legal counsel. (Indiana Lawyer)


  • Chief information officers at Holland & Knight, Dinsmore & Shohl, and Thompson Coburn recently discussed technology and operations challenges they faced when their firms absorbed smaller firms. (American Lawyer)

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer in New York at; Darren Bowman at