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Wake Up Call: U.S. News and Best Lawyers Release New Ranking of Law Firms

Nov. 1, 2019, 12:15 PM
  • U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers today released a searchable database of 2020 law firm rankings, based on reviews of 14,931 U.S. firms across 75 national practice areas. A total 2,106 firms got national rankings. A few quick searches show, for example, that Alston & Bird was ranked “law firm of the year” for tax law; while Greenberg Traurig got that designation for trademark law; Sullivan & Cromwell for financial services regulation law; and Winston & Strawn for antitrust litigation. For each area law, the rankings also list several national tier 1 firms. (BestLawfirms.USNews.com)

  • A merger of two regional midwestern firms is creating a new national firm with close to 400 lawyers across 14 offices. Kansas City, Missouri-based Lathrop Gage and Gray Plant Mooty, based in Minneapolis, said they are combining, effective Jan. 1, 2020, into a new firm, Lathrop GPM. (BLAW via BLB)

  • Comedian Charles Star, a former Big Law attorney, is on a mission to make notoriously dull continuing legal education lectures fun. (BLAW via BLB)

  • Jones Day lawyers for Merck & Co.'s Idenix this week fell short in their bid to get a federal appeals court to revive the company’s record $2.5 billion patent verdict against Gilead Sciences Inc. Gilead had lawyers from Orrick and Fish & Richardson in its corner. The appeals court ruling, which said Idenix’s patent on a hepatitis C treatment is invalid, potentially “opens up a new line of attack” on patents in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. (BLAW)

  • Judges on a patent review panel of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office were unconstitutionally appointed and can be fired, a U.S. appeals court ruled yesterday. The ruling cast a cloud over some of the work by the PTAB, which some have called the “patent death squad.” (BN via BLAW)

  • Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and her department have to face a class action by nearly 160,000 former for-profit college students seeking loan forgiveness, a California federal court ruled. Housing & Economic Rights Advocates and Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School represent the borrowers. (BLAW)

  • The U.S. Justice Department can’t withhold criminal justice program grants to Los Angeles because the city is not complying with immigration enforcement, a federal court ruled. Covington & Burling represented L.A. in the case. (BLAW)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Kasowitz Benson Torres has obtained resolution of claims by its client Astra Asset Management, a London-based hedge fund, against Goldman Sachs relating to a so-called synthetic collateralized debt obligation called Abacus. Goldman Sachs already had to pay a $550 million fine in 2010 to U.S. regulators that had investigated Abacus after the 2008 financial crisis. (BN via BLAW)

  • Another conservative Trump court nominee panned as “unqualified” by the American Bar Association advanced in the Republican-controlled Senate yesterday. (BLAW via BLB)

  • The chief legal officer of an Anthem Inc. unit, Matthew Solomson, nominated for a seat on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, earned over $500,000 last year at the company, according to his disclosure filing. (Corporate Counsel)

  • McDermott Will & Emery is hosting its fourth annual forum on healthcare litigation, compliance & investigations, in Washington on Tuesday, Nov. 5. (MWE.com)

Pro Bono

  • A team of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips working pro bono obtained a preliminary settlement agreement with the federal government that would guarantee a class of vulnerable children in California will have access to a special form of immigration relief. Public Counsel and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights also worked on the case, which has taken a year of litigation. (Manatt.com)

Deals

  • Goodwin Procter advised Disc Medicine, a company that develops treatments for blood disorders, on a $50 million Series A financing. The firm also advised on Disc Medicine’s exclusive license agreement with biopharmaceutical giant AbbVie for worldwide rights to a series of therapies for ineffective red blood cell production. (BioSpace)

Laterals, Moves, In-house, Promotions

  • Frost Brown Todd added energy industry attorney Lauren Wylie as a member in Pittsburgh, in the firm’s business and commercial litigation and construction practice groups. She advises government contractors and agencies on matters spanning the entire project and contract lifecycle. She was recently general counsel at CB&I Project Services Group and previously assistant GC at Express Scripts. (FrostBrownTodd.com)

  • Withers added intellectual property partner Gina Bibby, who specializes in fashion technology, in its L.A. office. According to her Linkedin, she’s previously been at Silicon Valley offices of Baker Botts, Foley & Lardner, and other firms. (WithersWorldwide.com)

  • King & Spalding recruited trial lawyer Adam Spicer, who advises on complex pharmaceutical and life sciences matters, as a partner in Atlanta. He’s a former Navy information systems technician and arrives from Butler Snow, where he’d spent about 11 years, most recently as a partner. (KSLaw.com)

  • Philadelphia-based Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young added former Ballard Spahr life science patent partner Patrick J. Kelly in its IP group as counsel. He has a Ph.D. in molecular biology and joins most recently from Riverside Law. (Stradley.com)

Technology

  • The internal litigation budgeting application that Carlton Fields built based on Neota Logic’s legal workflow toolkit shows how law firms and in-house legal teams can work with “no code toolkit providers” to avoid buying a huge piece of software to do a specific task or getting bogged down in a huge project. (Artificial Lawyer)

  • When it comes to lawyers using artificial intelligence and data analytics, the future has already arrived, some recent surveys suggest. (Above The Law)

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom P. Taylor at ttaylor@bloomberglaw.com

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