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Wake Up Call: Sidley Drops Arbitration Demand for Associates, Students Target DLA Piper

Nov. 29, 2018, 12:23 PM
  • Sidley Austin yesterday dropped its requirement that associates agree to arbitrate disputes as a condition of employment. Kirkland & Ellis last week dropped a similar requirement, bowing to pressure led by a group Harvard Law School students. Sidley’s move goes further than Kirkland’s by applying to all associates, as well as non-attorney staffers. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

  • The Harvard Law students’ group Pipeline Parity Project argues that “coercive” arbitration clauses deprives employees of their right to go to court to fight illegal workplace practices such as discrimination or sexual harassment. The group says it is now focusing a #DumpDLA campaign on DLA Piper, which is maintaining its requirement. ( (

  • Some 51 percent of women at law firms say they have been bullied at work, and 35 percent say they’ve been sexually harassed, and in 19 percent of cases clients are doing the harassing, according to new data from legal research firm Acritas’ poll of 5,000 lawyers worldwide. (Acritas via YouTube)

  • Unsecured creditors advised by Paul Hastings made their latest discovery request in Puerto Rico’s mammoth insolvency proceedings, as time for the creditors to file suits is running out. Proskauer Rose is advising the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

  • Boies Schiller Flexner announced a four-member management committee to prepare the ground for the departure of its founders. (Above The Law)

  • Rapper Jay-Z and his Quinn Emanuel lawyers convinced a New York state judge to pause an arbitration with the owner of his apparel brand, arguing that the American Arbitration Association has failed to make available a “meaningful selection” of African-American arbitrators for the case. (American Lawyer)

  • The Senate confirmed former Squire Patton Boggs and Jones Day attorney Stephen Vaden as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s general counsel. (

  • Axinn said former Federal Trade Commission attorney and trial counsel Peter C. Herrick joined the firm’s antitrust group as a partner in its New York office, arriving from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. (

  • Mayer Brown said Supreme Court veteran Nicole Saharsky is joining the firm’s Washington office to co-chair its Supreme Court & appellate practice. Saharsky arrives from Gibson Dunn, whose Washington office she joined a year ago to co-lead its appellate and constitutional law practice group. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

Lawyers, Law Firms, Laterals

  • Fried Frank is the latest firm to update its parental leave policy. (American Lawyer)

  • Columbia Law School lecturer Michael Rebell is lead counsel in a Rhode Island federal class-action lawsuit that claims the U.S. constitution includes an implicit guarantee to a high-quality education, even though it’s not explicitly stated. (The Atlantic)

  • Steptoe & Johnson LLP snagged Barnes & Thornburg partner Will Turner for its corporate group as a partner in its Chicago office, where he will also work in the blockchain and cryptocurrency practice. (

  • Cooley elected 19 lawyers, including eight women, to its partnership across eight of its offices in the U.S. and U.K., effective Jan. 1, 2019. (

  • North Carolina State University appointed former Saul Ewing associate Allison B. Newhart to be its vice chancellor and general counsel effective Feb. 1. She currently serves as associate general counsel at Pennsylvania State University. (NC State)

  • EyePoint Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which develops and commercializes ophthalmic products, appointed veteran medical device in-house lawyer Ron Honig as senior vice president, general counsel and company secretary. (Associated Press)

Legal Actions

  • Singapore’s accounting regulators expanded their investigation into Noble Group Ltd.’s accounting to probe the company’s longstanding auditor, Ernst & Young. The spotlight on EY comes as accounting firms, in particular the “Big Four” of Deloitte, KPMG, EY, and PwC are under pressure globally amid a probe by U.K. regulators. (Bloomberg via BLB)

  • The U.S. Supreme Court scheduled Jan. 9 oral arguments for a case that involves microchip inventor Gilbert P. Hyatt and addresses taxpayers’ ability to sue one state in another state’s court. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

  • Washington, D.C., courts will have new rules to handle and respond to sexual harassment and other workplace misconduct issues. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

  • The #MeToo movement has made judges more willing to understand why some sexual harassment victims don’t immediately come forward, Equal Employment Opportunity Commissioner Charlotte Burrows said. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

  • The New York Court of Appeals reversed a conviction and dismissed the indictment for “enterprise corruption,” known as New York’s “mini-RICO” statute, against defendant Damian Jones, represented pro bono by New York-based litigation boutique Holwell Shuster & Goldberg. (


  • The UK Government plans to sponsor a major research project into legal AI, run by an Oxford professor. (Artificial Lawyer)

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at; Molly Ward at