Business & Practice

Wake Up Call: U.K. Politicians Demand Law Firms Restate Pay Gap Data

March 6, 2018, 12:37 PM

• U.K. politicians demanded that law firms Linklaters and Pinsent Masons and accounting giant EY recalculate gender pay-gap data they submitted to the government to comply with a regulatory requirement. Critics say those firms understate their pay gaps in part because they classify top-earning partners as owners rather than employees. ( Bloomberg )

• Chicago-based Winston & Strawn’s announcement yesterday that it hired seven partners from Jenner & Block suggests a hiccup in Jenner’s plan to expand its corporate department. It’s also a reminder that, in an era of partner mobility, such investments by firms can sometimes fizzle. ( BLB )

• A Burbank entertainment lawyer filed a $4.3 million lawsuit alleging he lost millions of dollars in a television executive’s Ponzi-like scheme facilitated by an estate planning attorney at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• Covington & Burling LLP came under fire for a $125 million fee it received to represent Minnesota in the state’s $5 billion environmental lawsuit against 3M Co., which settled Feb. 20 for $850 million. ( Bloomberg Law via BLB )

• Four construction contractors agreed to pay workers nearly $14 million in back pay and damages, in a record high settlement for the Trump administration’s wage enforcement regime. In a twist, the workers hail from China. ( Bloomberg Law )

• Airlines including Delta, Virgin America Inc., and JetBlue Airways Corp. are fighting lawsuits potentially worth millions of dollars alleging California overtime law covers flight attendants who fly into and out of the state’s airports. ( Bloomberg Law )

• Martin Shkreli must turn over almost $7.4 million to the U.S., a judge ruled in a win for prosecutors who say the hedge-fund manager turned pharmaceutical executive cheated his investors. ( Bloomberg via BLB )

Lawyers and Law Firms

• Baker McKenzie said it hired former McDonald’s top lawyer Gloria Santona as of counsel in Chicago. With nearly 40 years on the fast food giant’s legal team, Santona served as general counsel from 2001 to 2017, and was also executive vice president and secretary. ( BakerMcKenzie )

• New Jersey-based Cole Schotz P.C. said it launched a cannabis law group with a team of attorneys drawn from its corporate, real estate, healthcare, intellectual property, employment and tax practices, led by members Jordan A. Fisch and Marc P. Press.( Coleschotz.com )

• Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr said it launched a campus investigations team inspired by the #MeToo movement. The team will be led by Philadelphia-based partner Jim Keller, who is co-chair of the firm’s higher education practice and vice-chair of its litigation department. ( Saul.com )

•Barnes & Thornburg LLP said it opened a second office in California, a San Diego location headed by lender-side financing attorney Troy Zander, adding to the Los Angeles office it opened in 2011. ( Btlaw.com )

Laterals, Moves, Law Firm Work

•Locke Lord said it expanded its London office, adding partner David Savell, who focuses on risk, compliance and regulatory matters. Savell was previously a partner at K&L Gates LLP.( Lockelord.com )

• Holland & Knight said it added litigation partner David Schulte in its Dallas office, where he will focus on complex commercial litigation. Schulte was previously a partner at Thompson & Knight in Dallas. ( Hklaw.com )

•Chicago law firm Neal Gerber Eisenberg said it added Wesley Nissen as a partner in its corporate & securities practice, getting him from DLA Piper, where he was partner and chair of the financial services practice group. ( NGE.com )

• JAMS, the alternative dispute resolution provider, said it expanded its panel in New York with lawyer Chris M. Kwok, who joins after 15 years at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in New York. ( JAMSadr )

• Montgomery McCracken promoted three attorneys to partner: New York-based Robert E. O’Connor and Julie F. Schechter were previously associates, and Wilmington, Delaware-based Davis Lee Wright was of counsel. ( MMWR.com )

Legal Market

• A tightening U.S. job market and legalization of marijuana in nine states and Washington, D.C., is contributing to the slow decline of pre-employment drug tests. ( Bloomberg Environment )

• With her acceptance speech for best actress at the Oscars, Frances McDormand highlighted a little-known contract provision actors can use to force Hollywood to diversify its ranks. ( Bloomberg ) ( Above The Law )

• The U.S. House and Senate are working on legislation to halt the opioid abuse epidemic. ( Bloomberg Law )

Legal Actions

• President Donald Trump’s company lost control of its luxury hotel in Panama yesterday, ordered out by Panamanian officials. ( Associated Press via Bloomberg )

• Microsoft Corp.’s new chief diversity officer won’t start at her new post until July as part of a settlement of a lawsuit by her former employer, International Business Machines Corp., that equated her hiring to the theft of trade secrets. ( Bloomberg )

• Lawsuits against college retirement plans are moving forward with new questions of standing and privacy in the mix. ( Bloomberg Law )

• Monsanto and subsidiaries of Eastman Chemical Company and Pfizer contaminated more than 100 bodies of water with toxic chemicals, the state of Ohio alleged in a lawsuit. ( Bloomberg Law )

Labor Law

• A San Francisco federal judge ruled that 2,500 Uber drivers in Massachusetts who weren’t subject to an arbitration requirement can proceed with claims that they should be treated like employees rather than independent contractors. Bloomberg Law )

• California’s new law aimed at protecting immigrant workers during U.S. immigration enforcement actions is putting employers in the state in an awkward position, lawyers and others said. ( Bloomberg Law )

• A group of stakeholders wants the Labor Department to delay its rule on association health plans until the agency releases data on fraudulent health plans. ( Bloomberg Law )

• Complying with the growing number of state and local laws that prohibit employers from inquiring about job applicant pay history can be complex and even overwhelming for employers. ( Bloomberg Law )

The Trump Administration

• The Trump administration urged the U.S. Supreme Court to let state and local governments collect billions of dollars in sales taxes from online retailers. ( Bloomberg )

• Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s plan to fix a gaping loophole for hedge funds in Trump’s new tax law could face legal challenges, accountants and lawyers said. ( Bloomberg )

Happening in SCOTUS and Other Courts

• Yesterday was supposed to mark the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, but thanks to two court decisions, it’s still hanging on by a thread. ( Bloomberg Law )

• Aetna Life Insurance Co.'s missteps in denying a psychiatrist’s claim for long-term disability benefits means the insurer’s decision is subject to stricter review in court, a Florida federal judge ruled. ( Bloomberg Law )


• Digital currency exchange Coinbase Inc. was hit with two lawsuits by disgruntled consumers. ( Bloomberg )

• The coming EU General Data Protection Regulation brings new compliance obligations but could also boost companies’ data-processing efficiency, a report says. ( BDO )

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor/Casey Sullivan.

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