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Wake Up Call: Surfside Condo Lawyers Awarded Over $70 Million

Aug. 30, 2022, 12:32 PM

In today’s column, Big Law firms trying to ease their thorny mandatory retirement policies are running into new snags; Arizona Law wants to become the first US school to offer a Juris Doctor degree abroad; DLA Piper says it’s moving its Baltimore office back downtown.

  • Leading off, a Florida judge awarded plaintiffs lawyers in the Surfside condo collapse over $70 million in fees. They sought slightly more than $100 million of the $1.1 billion settlement that the victims’ lawyers reached last month with defendants and other parties in the class action over the collapse of an apartment tower. (Associated Press) That fees will be divided among the 17 plaintiffs law firms involved in the case. (CBS News)
  • Big Law firms are easing their mandatory retirement policies causing snags over equality among partners, while also creating challenges for younger lawyers, a report says. (American Lawyer)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Ballard Spahr said it “played the central courtroom role” in litigation to help a coalition of major media organizations get access to the US Department of Justice’s probable cause affidavit supporting the warrant for its search of former President Trump’s Florida residence, Mar-a-Lago, on Aug. 8; an attorney at Mukasey Frenchman asked to withdraw from the legal team defending Trump in the copyright-infringement suit brought by singer Eddy Grant over Grant’s song “Electric Avenue.” (Forbes) O’Melveny & Myers’ star litigator Daniel Petrocelli, citing a scheduling conflict, will not participate in the legal team defending former Trump inaugural committee chairman Thomas Barrack in his upcoming trial. (New York Law Journal)
  • Big transatlantic firm Eversheds-Sutherland recently elected the senior partner of its Cardiff, UK, office, Kathryn Roberts, to a four-year term as its new chair. A Welsh speaker, she’s a member of the firm’s international real estate executive team, where’s she responsible for people and technology. (BusinessLive)
  • DLA Piper announced it signed a 10-year lease to move its Baltimore office back downtown after a 20-year absence. It said it will move into premises with over 34,000 square feet of space in the city’s Harbor East area in June 2023. (DLAPiper.com)

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • Kirkland & Ellis hired Latham & Watkins investment funds lawyers John Reinert and Jina Yun as partners in Chicago; Faegre Drinker grabbed the co-leaders of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s private funds practice, getting DeeAnne Sjögren in Saint Louis, Missouri, and Mark Weakley, in Boulder, Colorado, as partners. Former US Securities and Exchange Commission attorney Jeremy Kollitz also joined from Bryan Cave as associate in Boulder; Locke Lord picked up Shearman & Sterling patent litigator Mark Hannemann as a partner in New York. He was earlier at Kenyon & Kenyon. (LockeLord.com)
  • Barnes & Thornburg recruited former White House senior adviser Trey Baker as a partner in its government services and finance department in Washington. In the Biden administration, Baker specialized in outreach to the Black community and civil rights organizations and focused on law enforcement and criminal justice reform, the law firm said; Crowell & Moring recruited former US Navy counsel Per Midboe as senior counsel in Arlington, Virginia, in its government contracts practice. (Crowell.com)
  • Former Airbnb associate general counsel Derek Smith said he took a job as general counsel at Switzerland-based SonarSource, a computer code quality and security management company. Smith’s LinkedIn profile says he’s based in Park City, Utah. (LinkedIn.com); Sioux Center, Iowa-based egg producer Versova said it promoted in-house attorney Jan Kramer to be its first-ever general counsel. (Morning AgClips)

Technology

  • UK-founded document management platform Kim, which already has an office in New Jersey, is opening one in Atlanta. (Artificial Lawyer)

Legal Education

  • The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law wants to become the first US law school to offer an accredited JD abroad by partnering with an Australian school. (Reuters)

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer in New York at copfer@bloomberglaw.com; Darren Bowman at dbowman@bloomberglaw.com