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Wake Up Call: Sports Illustrated Sold for $110 Million; Paul Weiss, Cooley Advise

May 29, 2019, 11:56 AM
  • Paul Weiss Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison advised Authentic Brands Group on its $110 million acquisition of Sports Illustrated. ABG said it plans to make money licensing out the intellectual property rights to the iconic magazine, which has about 175 million U.S. consumers monthly. Cooley advised the seller, Meredith Corporation, which, according to press release, will for at least two years pay ABG a licensing fee to continue publishing the SI print magazine and manage the brand’s website, advertising, video, and social media. (BN)

  • Paul Weiss also was in the news for hiring Loretta Lynch, the first black woman to serve as U.S. attorney general, as a litigation partner. She joins as a partner in the New York office but will also work with the firm’s Washington office. (BLAW via BLB)

  • Global Payments Inc. agreed to buy Total System Services Inc. in a $21.5 billion merger of two Georgia-based “equals” that will create a payment technology and software supplier to over 3.5 million small to medium-size merchants and over 1,300 financial institutions. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz advised Atlanta-based Global Payments. King & Spalding advised Columbus-based Total System Services Inc. (BN) (TSYS)

  • Withers said Geneva-based tax, trusts, and estates partner Justine Markovitz will become its chairperson July 1, the second woman to have that job at the firm, which has roots in England and, more recently, in New Haven, Connecticut. Markovits, who will work with chief executive Margaret Robertson in a “female leadership team,” is head of Withers’ Swiss practice and co-heads the firm’s global private client and tax team. She will take over as chair from Ivan Sacks, who is the firm’s first U.S.-based chair and steps down after the maximum two terms. (American Lawyer) (

  • California lawyers’ annual bar fees would rise about 34%, to $535, under a proposal approved by the Senate yesterday. The fee hike would be the first in two decades. (BLAW)

  • Morrison & Foerster said private equity and transactions partner Shirin Tang was appointed managing partner of its Singapore office, effective June 1. A member of the firm’s Women’s Strategy Committee, Tang will take over from office co-managing partners Eric Piesner and Paul McKenzie. (

Lawyers, Law Firms, Deals

  • San Diego-based civil defense firm Tyson & Mendes said that, in partnership with an employee benefits company, it is launching programs to help its attorneys repay their student loans and also to save for future educational costs of their children. (

  • Michael Best said Lyndon L. Ricks, a partner in its corporate and securities & capital markets practice groups, was appointed by the state’s governor to a four-year term on the State of Utah Securities Commission. (

  • Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan hosted a mock Chinese-style patent trial, followed by a panel discussion, at the Four Seasons hotel in San Francisco, in conjunction with a major law firm from China, Zhong Lun. (

  • Lawyers clashed in Paris yesterday over a formal meeting that was supposed to happen between American singer-songwriter Chris Brown and a woman who accuses him of rape. (AP via Boston Herald)

  • In recent performances of “Please, Continue (Hamlet),” Chicago trial judges, public defenders, and prosecutors played roles of court officials. In different performances, the juries reached different verdicts as to whether Hamlet was guilty of murdering Polonius. (

Laterals, Moves, Promotions

  • Reed Smith added Sullivan & Cromwell commodities lawyer Christine Trent Parker as a partner in New York. At Sullivan & Cromwell, Parker was a member of its commodities, futures and derivatives, and capital markets groups. (

  • Hogan Lovells said business restructuring and insolvency lawyer David Simonds joined the firm as a partner in L.A. He arrives from Akin Gump, where he has been a partner since 2004. (

  • Eversheds Sutherland said former New York federal prosecutor Sarah Paul joined the firm’s litigation practice group as a partner in New York. Paul, among other things, led an investigation that produced the first U.S. indictment linked to the Panama Papers scandal, and a probe of Swiss banks. (

  • Detroit-based Dykema got a new director of lateral recruiting. The firm hired Mary Beth Walsh, who was previously director of attorney recruitment & development at Chicago-based Hinshaw & Culbertson. (

  • Debevoise & Plimpton said it is promoting seven lawyers to partner on July 1: three each in London and New York and one in Washington. Taking into account this year’s promotions, women represent 41% of all partner promotions at the firm over the past 12 years, Debevoise said. (

Legal Actions, Bankruptcies, Decisions

  • Jones Walker said it won the acquittal of Russian oil tanker captain Vjaceslavs Birzakovs, who’d been detained in Louisiana for 19 months on federal pollution and obstruction of justice charges linked to discharge of oil into the Gulf of Mexico from the Ridgebury Alexandra Z. A federal judge in February ordered ship operator Interorient Marine Services Limited to pay $2 million in fines in the case. (

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