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Wake Up Call: Sullivan & Cromwell ‘Encourages’ July 6 Return

May 6, 2021, 12:43 PM

In today’s column, lawyers say technology is a key component of the “agility” clients will want from their law firms post-pandemic; two of Europe’s biggest law firms are collaborating on a network to expand their global presence; former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani has laid off staffers in recent weeks to cut costs, a report says.

  • Leading off, Wall Street firm Sullivan & Cromwell said its July 6 target return date is not an obligation but it is “strongly encouraged.” Firm chair Joseph Shenker said vaccination also is not required for returning staff and lawyers but it’s “strongly urged,” and the firm will have to make special arrangements for people who aren’t vaccinated. (American Lawyer)
  • With Covid cases down in most areas of the U.S. and local governments lifting restrictions. momentum is building for law firms to announce reopening plans. Lowenstein Sandler and Davis Polk & Wardwell are among firms that have done that. One big Southeast U.S. firm, Adams and Reese LLP, already returned to the office in May 2020. (American Lawyer)
  • Getting back into the office ASAP shouldn’t be the focus, says Dentons’ global chief executive Elliott Portnoy. He and other law firm leaders told the Financial Times that clients will expect more flexible legal service post pandemic, and Covid’s disruption offers a chance to prepare for that. Legal technology is an essential tool to accomplish that agility, the report says. (Financial Times)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, facing legal problems and outlays of his own, has laid off several staffers and independent contractors in the last few weeks to cut his costs, a report says. (Politico)
  • France’s biggest law firm Fidal and big German firm Luther are hooking up to launch a Swiss verein-style organization, called Unyer, through which they expect to establish a presence in 20 global economies by 2030. (Global Legal Post)
  • Wilson Sonsini said it launched a digital hub for its emerging companies practice, which it said provides free resources and insights for startup founders, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists; Detroit-based Clark Hill, which has about 650 lawyers across 25 offices, launched a new website, logo and brand it said it has been developing for over two years. The firm has added hundreds of lawyers in a series of mergers since 2010. (

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • Crowell & Moring’s London office got competition lawyer Peter Broadhurst as a partner from Simmons & Simmons; London-headquartered Holman Fenwick Willan expanded its China transactional practice, poaching Winston & Strawn Shanghai managing partner Brinton Scott as senior partner and Cooper Standard Asia Pacific legal senior director Danielle Peng as of counsel in Shanghai. (Holman Fenwick Willan)
  • Fenwick & West recruited technology transactions lawyer Key Shin as a partner in San Francisco in the firm’s life sciences practice. He was earlier at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius; Wiley Rein got former T-Mobile USA, Inc. and Sprint Corp. vice-president in charge of regulatory Charles W. McKee as a partner in its telecom, media, and technology practice; Hogan Lovells got back telecom industry veteran in-house leader Gerald Oberst as a senior counsel in Washington in its communication, internet and media practice. He left the firm in 2012 after 24 years as an associate then partner. (Hogan Lovells)
  • K&L Gates recruited former U.S. Department of Labor official Craig E. Leen, who was a director of the DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, as a partner in Washington in its labor, employment, and workplace safety practice; former General Motors labor, employment and benefits executive counsel Holly Georgell joined FordHarrison’s worklaw practice in Chicago; Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler said information tech specialist Sheetal Gupta joined the firm as chief information officer, becoming the sixth member of its all-woman leadership team. (
  • Stoel Rives brought in former health system general counsel Theresa Rambosek in Seattle as of counsel in its health care practice group; Manatt, Phelps & Phillips expanded its health group in Washington by adding Akin Gump counsel Blair M. Cantfil as a partner. It recruited as managing director former Amerigroup health plan executive Linda Elam, who earlier served as D.C. Medicaid director in the U.S. Health and Human Services Department. (

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at; Darren Bowman at