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Wake Up Call: Squire Plans U.K. Work Changes, New London Home

Sept. 3, 2020, 12:18 PM

In today’s column, Squire Patton Boggs said yesterday it will close its Doha office. Meanwhile, 13 lawyers from Squire’s Doha team are heading to Crowell & Moring; litigation firm Robins Kaplan announced a $100,000 federal clerkship bonus; a Dechert antitrust co-chair jumped to Steptoe in Washington; and former NAACP top lawyer Kim M. Keenan joined JAM’s dispute resolution panel in Washington.

  • Leading off, Squire Patton Boggs today said it is moving to new London premises and making big changes to how its U.K. employees work, as it responds to the Covid-19 pandemic. The firm said it is doing a six-month trial in which all staff and fee-earning lawyers will work remotely as much as half of their time, with core hours will be abolished to allow for more flexibility. (Law.com International)

  • Squire has also decided to close its Doha office to focus growth efforts elsewhere on the Arabian peninsula. Lawyers from its team will move to Crowell & Moring, which is set to open its own office in the Qatari capital. Crowell will add 13 total lawyers from Squire Patton Boggs (National Law Journal.com)

  • This week brought news that Baker McKenzie plans to shed 6% of its workforce, while other firms make staff and attorney layoffs even as they roll back pay cuts they made early in the year to fend off the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. With summer ending, Big Law firms are starting to plan their budgets for next year and also contemplate their longer-term future. Employees and lawyers should prep for some potentially drastic changes to jobs and office space. (BLAW)

  • A Miami lawyer who survived Covid-19 said his case demonstrates the perils of letting your guard down. (Daily Business Review)

  • Seyfarth Shaw recently launched a group that advises businesses on legal and other challenges raised when companies shift to remote workforces during the pandemic. The group includes Laura Maechtlen, chair of the firm’s national labor & employment department. (Seyfarth.com)


Lawyers, Law Firms

  • As China’s legal market has gotten more competitive and overhead costs climb, some global law firms have closed mainland offices. (American Lawyer)

  • Litigation firm Robins Kaplan announced a $100,000 federal clerkship bonus to associates who have done at least a one-year district court or appellate federal clerkship. (Above the Law)

  • Environmental lawyer Steven Donziger, recently disbarred in New York, is going all out in his fight against criminal contempt charges in the state, stemming from an $8.6 billion judgment he won in 2011 against Chevron in Ecuador. (New York Law Journal)

  • Ousted Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht partner Donald Lewis says the former paralegal who accused him of sexually assaulting her at that firm is lying. (Law.com)

  • Kentucky’s first black attorney general, Daniel Cameron, is a Republican “darling” and protégé of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Cameron is in the spotlight as the state investigates that police shooting of Breonna Taylor. (CNN)

  • Covington & Burling named Daniel Cooper to be co-chair of its data privacy and cybersecurity practice. He’s moving from London to Brussels to lead the firm’s European data protection practice. (Cov.com)

  • Simpson Thacher & Bartlett advised growth equity firm TCV on its acquisition of a majority stake in spend management tech firm Oversight, which was advised by Kirkland & Ellis. Seller Luminate Capital Partners retains a minority stake. Deal terms weren’t disclosed. (Businesswire.com)


Pro Bono

  • Willkie Farr & Gallagher worked with Appleseed Justice Centers on a report examining disparities in school disciplinary treatment for girls of color. (AppleseedNetwork.org)

Laterals, Moves

  • Steptoe & Johnson LLP snagged former Dechert antitrust co-chair Michael L. Weiner as a partner in New York. Weiner earlier spent over 30 years at Skadden Arps, including as a partner. (Steptoe.com)

  • Morgan, Lewis & Bockius hired two women litigators in Washington with finance and government experience. Sandra Moser rejoins after a stint at Quinn Emanuel, and, earlier, as chief of the Justice Department’s Fraud Section. Robin Nunn, a former in-house counsel, arrives from Dechert, where she was chair of the consumer financial services group. (BLAW)

  • King & Spalding recruited health care in-house leader Amy Garrigues as a partner in its health care group in Chicago. Garrigues, who was a summer associate at King & Spalding, was most recently chief legal officer and executive vice president at international cancer care provider 21st Century Oncology. She earlier spent time as a K&L Gates partner in North Carolina, and was managing partner and shareholder at Hall Render. (KSLaw.com)

  • Alternative dispute resolution services provider JAMS added litigator and in-house leader Kim M. Keenan, a former general counsel for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, to its Washington panel. JAMS has recently faced controversy and a lawsuit over a JAMS arbitrator’s email forward of racist blog post. (JAMSadr.com)


In-House

  • Insurance giant GEICO promoted longtime in-house lawyer Jonathan Shafner to general counsel and vice president. (Corporate Counsel)

  • Toronto-based Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce recruited financial industry veteran Kikelomo “Kike” Lawalto be its chief legal officer. A Harvard Law grad born in Nigeria and raised in New York, Lawal will start Oct. 12 at the Toronto-based banking and financial services giant. (BLAW)


Technology

  • Innovative Discovery is acquiring information governance consultancy Integro, in the latest move aimed at created a comprehensive e-discovery provider. (Legaltech News)


Legal Education

  • Test takers of the in-person bar exam held by 23 jurisdictions in July showed sharp gains in average score on the Multistate Bar Exam portion of the exam. (Law.com)

  • California’s state bar released draft rules for a provisional licensing program during the pandemic. The rules would allow recent law school graduates to practice law temporarily without taking the bar exam. (The Recorder)

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com

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