Bloomberg Law
June 17, 2020, 12:57 PM

Wake Up Call: U.K. Legal’s 5% Drop in April Revenues Is ‘Good News’

Rick Mitchell
Rick Mitchell
Freelance Correspondent

In today’s column, Morgan Stanley’s ex-diversity chief, who used to work in Big Law, is accusing the investment bank of mistreating black women; most in-house lawyers told a recent survey their departments spend too much on outside counsel; Boies Schiller may have applied for federal Covid bailout funds; Twitter hired a former FBI top lawyer who left the agency in 2018 after riling President Trump with a tweet about the Russia probe; the Trump administration is suing to prevent publication of a book by former National Security Adviser John Bolton; a program started by Georgetown Law and Sheppard Mullin aims to get police to stop misconduct by colleagues.

  • Leading off, the U.K. legal sector’s revenue fell 4.7% from March to April, as Covid-19 stay-at-home orders took effect, even as the overall U.K. economy plunged over 20%, according to new official statistics. That data is “surprisingly positive” but it hides a more complex picture, a report says. (Global Legal Post)

  • As law firms look to survive the pandemic, their legal departments are cutting costs and turning to technology to help in getting bills out on time. At the same time, they’re throwing some cash-strapped clients a lifeline, while avoiding steep discounts. (BLAW)

  • Most in-house counsel responding to a recent survey said their legal departments are spending too much on outside counsel and many said outside firms take too long to do the work. (Corporate Counsel)

  • Boies Schiller Flexner, which has been getting bled recently by a series of partner exits, including two D.C. leaders who jumped to Paul Weiss last week, may have applied for as much as $20 million in forgivable government loans under the U.S. government’s Paycheck Protection Program, a coronavirus stimulus program, a report says. But the firm declined to confirm that and the federal government is not indentifying companies that get money from the controversial program. (Reuters)

  • Allen & Overy is among the latest Big Law firms to say it’s gradually reopening from Covid-19 shutdowns. The London-based elite firm says its head office is letting a limited number of staff return and its other offices worldwide are taking a similar approach. (The Lawyer)

  • As many other firms were slashing costs, Fried Frank said back in April that it had no plans for layoffs or pay cuts. Now, the firm is offering a voluntary buyout program to eligible nonlawyers, a report says. (Above the Law)

  • Jones Walker advised an Alabama-based advanced materials corporation, SiO2, which just received a federal investment of $143 million to increase production of their primary packaging for storing Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics. (Healthcare Packaging)

The Legal Profession Reacts to George Floyd Protests, Systemic Racism

  • Morgan Stanley is denying accusations in a proposed New York federal class action suit by its former head of diversity, Marilyn Booker. Booker, a former Big Law attorney and bankruptcy associate who says the firm has systematically mistreated black women and that she lost her job because she pushed for more diversity. (Bloomberg News)

  • After a D.C. Circuit judge sent a group email arguing against a Senate proposal to strip confederate names from military assets, an unidentified black law clerk was the first person to step up to refute the judge, reports say. (The Intercept) (Above the Law)

  • Three Minneapolis cops accused of failing to intervene while George Floyd suffocated to death under officer Derek Chauvin’s knee, are just a high-profile example of a widespread problem, says Georgetown Law professor Christy Lopez. Georgetown Law’s innovative policing program, which Lopez co-runs, and Sheppard Mullin, this week announced a new training project, aimed at getting law enforcement personnel to actively stop misconduct by colleagues. (

  • Over 50 former prosecutors wrote to support bail for the suspended Pryor Cashman associate and human rights lawyer accused of firebombing an NYPD vehicle. (WaPo)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • King & Spalding is opening a Northern Virginia office to expand its client reach in the areas of technology, including life sciences and health care, aerospace, and government contracting. M&A and corporate lawyer Charles Katz is managing partner for the new office, whose 25-lawyer team will work with the firm’s 250-lawyer Washington office. (BLAW)

  • A California federal judge rejected Cooley’s attempt to get King & Spalding booted from a Whatsapp case. (The Recorder)

  • The Trump administration is suing to block publication of a tell-all book by former National Security Advisor John Bolton. (Bloomberg News via BLAW)

  • A recently removed New Jersey superior court judge was ordered to pay $250,000 to settle a sexual harassment suit filed against him by his former law clerk. (New Jersey Law Journal)

  • Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. is buying ASC Signal Division, Inc., manufacturer of antenna systems for satellite communications for military and other applications, from Skadden Arps-client Communications & Power Industries LLC for $35 million. (Space News)

  • Global consulting firm J.S. Held acquired Sidley Austin-advised VWM Analytics, which specializes in forensic accounting economic services. Terms weren’t disclosed. (

  • Sidley also represented affiliates of alternative investment management firm Apollo Global Management on their $500 million capital raise for real estate investment trust MFA Financial, Inc., which was advised by Skadden. (

Pro Bono

  • New York Lawyers for the Public Interest and Milbank announced a New York court order for the New York Police Department to turn over body-worn camera footage capturing the fatal police shooting of a mentally ill woman. (

Laterals, Moves

  • A Quinn Emanuel national trial practice co-chair, Tara Lee, jumped to White & Case as a partner in Washington. (BLAW)

  • Latham & Watkins recruited Hogan Lovells life-science based intellectual property litigators Arlene Chow and Ernest Yakob as partners in New York. (New York Law Journal)

  • The four women co-owners of Chicago-based environmental law boutique Nijman Franzetti have all previously led environmental law practices at Big Law firms earlier in their careers. The latest to join as a partner is former co-leader of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s toxic torts group, Susan Brice, who previously co-led Mayer Brown’s environmental group. (American Lawyer)

  • Former Ropes & Gray patent litigation partner Laurence S. Rogers left that firm after more than 15 years to join IP boutique Haley Guiliano as of counsel in New York. (

  • Saul Ewing’s Miami office added litigator Angela de Cespedes as a partner. She arrives from Shutts & Bowen and has previously been a partner at Akerman and an associate at Greenberg Traurig. (


  • Twitter Inc. hired former FBI general counsel James Baker as deputy GC, as the social media platform fights President Trump over its guidelines. (BLAW)

  • A former vice president of employment law at Time Warner, Marcie Jacob, has taken on a very different kind of role as unpaid chief compliance officer at her family’s Honda dealership in the Bronx. (BLAW)


  • Software provider Clio said its Clio Cloud Conference in October will be virtual. (Legaltech News)

  • A new survey by compliance tech company TrustArc suggests automation tools for compliance with data privacy laws and regulatory guidance may not yet be totally reliable. (Legaltech News)

  • Legal tech platform Litera acquired Tel Aviv-based contract drafting system Bestpractix, after buying transaction management system Doxly and Workshare, last year. (Artificial Lawyer)

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