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Wake Up Call: Troutman Pepper Is Official After Virus Delayed Merger

July 2, 2020, 1:04 PM

In today’s column, Troutman Sanders and Pepper Hamilton finally completed their pandemic-delayed merger, while another report says the coronavirus has put the brakes on law firm mergers generally. Elsewhere, the International Air Transport Association got a new general counsel, and the dean of Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law is moving to a new job.

  • Leading off, Atlanta’s Troutman Sanders and Philadelphia’s Pepper Hamilton finally completed their merger Wednesday, to create 1,100 lawyer firm Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders. The tie-up was originally scheduled for April 1, but was delayed because of the pandemic. (American Lawyer)

  • Speaking of law firm mergers, a new Altman Weil report says they hit a 10-year low in this year’s second quarter because of the pandemic. A report by legal management consultancy Fairfax Associates earlier this week predicts firm mergers will plunge for the year. (BLAW)

  • As law firms discover that remote work arrangements implemented because of Covid-19 lockdowns are pretty efficient, more firms may do what Katten Muchin Rosenman is doing--permanently laying off some furloughed staff, a report says. (American Lawyer)

  • Florida is moving its bar exam online amid a spike in new Covid-19 cases in the state. (BLAW) The pandemic is hitting young lawyers and their career outlooks especially hard. (Financial Times)

  • General counsel are still starting new jobs during the pandemic, as highly regulated industries are still making legal teams a priority. (

  • Despite, or maybe because of the pandemic, patent infringement litigation was up sharply in 2020’s first half, and new interest in litigation funding may have had something to do with that growth, a report says. (National Law Journal)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Washington state’s move to sunset its access to justice program has hit the program’s students hard. (BLAW)

  • A Skadden associate is raising money to fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. (BLAW)

  • Sidley Austin provided legal defense advice on 18 U.S. public shareholder activist campaigns in the first six months of 2020, tops for any firm so far this year, a report says. (Bloomberg News)

  • More than half of general counsel believe their organizations are not prepared for coming data privacy regulations, according to a new survey published. (Corporate Counsel)

  • In-bound marketing, such as podcasts, newsletters, social media pages, and blogs, is less intrusive and more effective for promoting law firms than out-bound marking, such as direct email, calls, spam, and telemarketing, a report says. (

Laterals, Moves

  • O’Melveny & Myers named partner Peter Friedman chair of its bankruptcy litigation group, anticipating a “nationwide wave of bankruptcy-related disputes stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic.” (BLAW)

  • Mayer Brown said former White House economic adviser Andrew Olmem has returned to the firm. (BLAW)

  • Latham & Watkins hired two private equity laterals: getting Cooley partner Eric Schwartzman in San Francisco, and adding former Obama White House lawyer Michael Bosworth to its white collar litigation practice in New York. (BLAW)

  • Orrick hired energy & infrastructure lawyer Adam Smith as a partner in London. He’s the fifth member of a team that has come over from Watson Farley & Williams this year. According to his LinkedIn, Smith earlier spent six and half years at Sullivan & Cromwell. (

  • Arnold & Porter said white collar defense partner Kathleen Harris became head of its 50-attorney London office, effective yesterday. Harris, co-chair of the firm’s anti-corruption practice, was a senior official the U.K. Serious Fraud Office earlier in her career. (

  • DLA Piper’s Philadelphia office hired information security and privacy specialist Ronald Plesco as a partner in its intellectual property and technology practice. Plesco, a former prosecutor, arrives most recently from KPMG Cyber Services, where he was a principal. (


  • The Geneva-based International Air Transport Association said its corporate secretary, Karen Clayton, added general counsel to her list of roles, effective yesterday. Clayton, former top lawyer at Air New Zealand, New Zealand energy utility Mercury, and U.K. energy utility National Grid, replaced the retiring Jeff Shane. Shane, a former U.S. Department of Transportation policy official and Big Law partner, leaves IATA after seven years. (

  • Market research tech company Lucid, LLC, hired a former chief privacy counsel and executive at 21st Century Fox and Viacom Media, Pauline Wen, as general counsel, chief privacy officer, and corporate secretary. (


  • DocuSign, which recently acquiredartificial intelligence-powered document review company Seal Software, could to do the legal profession what did to retail, this report says. (The Motley Fool)

  • “Deception technology” offers a way for law firms to out-fox cybercriminals, a cyber-security professional says. (Legaltech News)

Legal Education

  • At least five law schools say they plan to have a fully online fall semester, but most law schools say they’re still hoping to offer some form of hybrid model combining online and in-person classes. (

  • Northwestern University said Kimberly Yuracko, who has been the dean of its Pritzker School of Law since Sept. 2018, will step down July 31 to join the office of the provost. The office said it will name an interim dean shortly and form a search committee to find a permanent successor to Yuracko. (News.Northwestern.Edu)

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at; Tom P. Taylor at