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Wake Up Call: Trump PAC Said to Foot Lawyer’s $3 Million Bill

Sept. 16, 2022, 12:27 PM

In today’s column, the DOJ’s former anti-money laundering chief joined MoFo; three Big Law firms are advising on a $1.2 billion SPAC for a Brazil-headquartered agricultural inputs giant; an international professional services firm is partnering with a Seville-based law firm to launch a new law firm in Spain.

  • Leading off, Donald Trump’s Save America political action committee has paid $3 million to a top lawyer representing the former president in the Justice Department’s investigation of classified documents seized at Mar-a-Lago and the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, Politico reported. (Politico) The report on the PAC’s payment to former Florida Solicitor General Chris Kise followed reports that the Republican National Committee had refused to pay for Trump’s legal defense in the Mar-a-Lago raid. (BLAW)
  • The New York bar hit former Big Law partner Doreen Zankowski with an extra two-year suspension for failing to properly notify New York authorities that she’d already been suspended that long in Massachusetts for intentionally overbilling clients. (New York Law Journal)
  • Davis Polk is advising Lavoro Agro Limited, Brazil’s largest agricultural inputs retailer, on its $1.2 billion go-public merger with a US special purpose acquisition company. Cooley is advising the SPAC, TBP Acquisition Corporation, which is sponsored by San Francisco-based investment holding company The Production Board. White & Case is counseling Barclays, TBP’s capital markets adviser. (Businesswire)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Skadden Arps, Latham & Watkins, and Simpson Thacher were among companies, banks and law firms that declined to work with “socially conscious but politically incorrect” Black Rifle Coffee, whose military-veteran founder says he voted for Trump twice, the Journal reports. (WSJ) Last year, Kirkland & Ellis advised the thriving coffee company on its $1.7 billion go-public merger with a special purpose acquisition company. (BLAW)
  • Big professional services firm Grant Thornton is hooking up with Spanish law firm Sanguino Abogados to launch a new firm that offers legal and professional services and targets the Andalusian market. (Iberian Lawyer)
  • Serent Capital-backed Actionstep, a cloud-based practice management platform for law firms, acquired legal software business LawMaster. (Businesswire)

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • Morrison Foerster said former Justice Department anti-money laundering and asset recovery section chief Deborah Connor joined the firm as a litigation partner in Washington; Greenberg Traurig hired longtime Foley & Lardner real estate finance partner Cherie Raidy as shareholder in Orange County, California; FisherBroyles brought in commercial and class actions defense litigator Elizabeth M. Young as a partner in New York. She arrives from Eckert Seamans; former Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner corporate commercial partner Mark Stevens took a job at Hong Kong firm Deacon. (Deacon)
  • Jones Day added two partners to its nine-year-old Miami office. It got real estate partner Ryan Girnun from DLA Piper and business and tort litigator Eric Lundt from GrayRobinson; Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton said commercial real estate lawyer John McNames is joining the firm as a counsel in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He arrives from Waldrep Wall Babcock & Bailey. (
  • McNeill Investment Group, formerly McNeill Hotel Investors, hired veteran real estate investment and transaction attorney Sussan Harshbarger as a managing director and chief legal officer. ( Irving, Texas-based Caris Life Sciences hired Shearman & Sterling partner Russ Denton as senior vice president, general counsel and secretary; alternative dispute resolution services provider JAMS said retired Florida judge and longtime litigator Herbert Stettin joined its Miami panel. (

Legal Education

  • Michigan Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack said she’s retiring later this year after four years in the role. The University of Pennsylvania’s Carey Law School said McCormack, who during the pandemic was a strong advocate for improving court technology, joined the school’s future of the profession initiative as a strategic adviser. (

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer in New York at; Darren Bowman at