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Wake Up Call: Represented Gained From Court Tech, Report Says

Dec. 2, 2021, 1:54 PM

In today’s column, an insurance litigation boutique became the latest firm to match the Cravath bonus scale for associates; Davis Polk partner Kenneth Wainstein, nominated to Homeland Security, reported earning $13.3 million as a partner; Greenberg Traurig grabbed a team of seven real estate lawyers in Poland.

  • Leading off, courts’ accelerated technology upgrades, including use of virtual hearings, during the pandemic mainly benefited people and businesses with legal representation. In some cases, the changes made the civil legal system more difficult to navigate for people without lawyers, according to a report by Pew Charitable Trusts. (
  • Year-old insurance recovery boutique Cohen Ziffer Frenchman & McKenna announced in an emailed memo that it will match the year-end bonus scale for associates that was set last month by Cravath, Swaine & Moore and ranges up to $115,000. Cohen Ziffer said it could beat the Cravath scale for some lawyers, but it didn’t specify by how much. (
  • Cohen Ziffer’s announcement yesterday came after DLA Piper became the latest of four Big Law firms to match Cravath’s scale with Cleary Gottlieb, Cadwalader, and Boies Schiller Flexner also matching. DLA Piper said top producing associates could get even higher bonuses. (BLAW)
  • Meanwhile, other firms may be waiting to see what last year’s Big Law bonus leader, Davis Polk & Wardwell announces for this year before announcing their own bonuses, a legal blog speculated. (Above the Law)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Davis Polk white-collar partner Kenneth Wainstein reported earning $13.3 million as a partner from the firm in his required disclosure after the Biden administration nominated him to a top position in the Department of Homeland Security. (National Law Journal)
  • Greenberg Traurig hired a team of seven real estate lawyers in Warsaw, Poland after losing 10 to CMS in November. Three lawyers and a paralegal in the new group come from Dentons, led by partner Maciej Jodkowski; Hogan Lovells said it hired a two M&A partners in Frankfurt, Germany. (

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • Paul Hastings grabbed intellectual property litigator Kecia Reynolds from Pillsbury Winthrop as a partner in Washington. She specializes in representing clients in cases before the International Trade Commission, where she spent over five years as an investigative attorney; Fox Rothschild got Buchalter IP shareholder Kari Barnes as a partner in Los Angeles; Hunton Andrews Kurth hired Shearman & Sterling structured finance lawyer Christian Pugaczewski as a partner in New York; Orrick picked up direct lending adviser Dan Amato as a partner in New York. He arrives from Kirkland & Ellis. (
  • Hughes Hubbard recruited former federal prosecutor Kenyen Brown, Alabama’s first Black U.S. attorney in Mobile, as a partner in Washington in its white collar litigation and investigations practices. He arrives from Maynard Cooper & Gale; Stoel Rives brought in former federal prosecutor and trial attorney Matthew Segal, recently special prosecutions unit chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California, as a litigation partner in Sacramento; King & Spalding hired executive compensation and employee benefits attorney Meredith O’Leary as a partner in Washington. She arrives after eight years at Eversheds Sutherland, recently as partner. (
  • Multinational consumer goods company Unilever said its chief legal officer and group secretary Ritva Sotamaa will retire at the end of March 2022. She will be replaced by Maria Varsellona, who is currently general counsel and company secretary at global technology company ABB Ltd.; Vinson & Elkins said it’s promoting 13 lawyers to partner across its Texas and other U.S. offices and in London, effective Jan. 1, 2022. (


  • Legal technology company Epiq said it acquired Canadian legal services provider Simplex Services Inc., which manages the operations of Simplex Legal LLP, a national law firm based in Canada. (GlobeNewsWire)

Legal Education

  • Columbia Law School got another $3.3 million donation from a 1971 graduate who’s a prominent litigator who earlier donated about the same amount to the school. (

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