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Wake Up Call: Uber IPO Earned Millions in Fees for Three Big Firms

May 13, 2019, 11:37 AM
  • Uber Technologies’ much awaited initial public offering may have turned out to be a dud but its law firms for the operation--Cooley and Covington & Burling for legal services and Davis Polk & Ward as underwriter counsel--still collected $5.5 million in legal fees and expenses. (The Recorder) (Bloomberg)

  • Teva Pharmaceutical Industries’ top lawyer, David Stark, wants to reduce the over $100 million that the company spends on outside legal advice. (Corporate Counsel)

  • In response to the #MeToo movement, a surge in discrimination lawsuits against Big Law, and pressure from clients to improve diversity, firms are increasingly seeking out training to help their lawyers eliminate unconscious biases. Some experts say lawyers can present some unique challenges for such training. (BLAW via BLB)

  • Two women among a group accusing Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart of pay discrimination against female shareholders nationwide made a filing to preserve the action, after a court ruled that the partner who first filed the claims, Dawn Knepper, has to arbitrate her case individually. (BLAW via BLB)

  • Federal prosecutors argued that Sidley Austin partner James Cole should be barred from representing the Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies because he participated in an unspecified investigation when he was deputy U.S. attorney general in the Obama administration. (National Law Journal)

  • Venable is representing Brooke Shields in her lawsuit against a cosmetics company that allegedly used her name without permission to sell eyebrow pencils. (BLAW)

  • Coca-Cola Co. agreed to pay $2.45 million and stop saying its Seagram’s Ginger Ale products are “made with real ginger” to resolve allegations of deceptive marketing. Shook, Hardy & Bacon and Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler represented Coke in the proposed settlement, which also provides class counsel fees of $735,000 and about $70,000 in costs. Baker Botts represented Keurig Dr Pepper Inc. in a similar proposed settlement earlier this year over Canada Dry. (BLAW)

  • In another story involving a soft drink maker, PepsiCo withdrew its intellectual property lawsuits against subsistence farmers in India, after facing a public outcry. Pepsi had accused the farmers of using special seeds for potatoes used in its chips without permission, according to reports. (Quartz)

  • Pittsburgh-based Reed Smith opened its new office in Dallas last week with five lawyers poached from Bryan Cave, three from Bracewell, and eight from Perkins Coie. (Texas Lawyer)

  • As Big Law races into Texas, major Philadelphia-based firms have lagged: Cozen O’Connor and Morgan Lewis are the only ones that have branches in Dallas and Houston, according to this article. (BizJournals.com)

Lawyers, Law Firms, Deals

  • Law.com and its affiliate ALM publications launched a year-long study of mental health in the legal profession and its rates of mental illness, addiction, and suicide that top those of most other professions. (Law.com)

  • Three retired California state court judges are suing the Judicial Council of California and Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye for age discrimination. (The Recorder)

  • Munger, Tolles & Olson’s new co-managing partner Hailyn Chen, a litigator and white collar defense lawyer, talked recently about being one of the few Asian American women to have a leadership position in a major firm: “I’m aware that my words and actions will be put under more scrutiny,” she said. (American Lawyer)

  • After an airplane crash killed the CEO and founder of Peak Completion Technologies, the oilfield technology company’s top lawyer, Tim Johnson, uncovered evidence of millions of dollars of alleged fraud by his deceased boss. (Chron.com)

  • Bressler, Amery & Ross said its New York-based senior associate Susan George was elected to the board of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, a civil rights nonprofit. (Bressler.com)

Laterals, Moves, Promotions

  • Offshore firm Appleby said Bermuda-based commercial litigator John Wasty and Isle of Man-based corporate lawyer Mark Holligon were appointed as co-heads of its global dispute resolution practice group. The firm also announced 12 promotions--six to partner and six to counsel--across its Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Isle of Man, and Jersey offices. (ApplebyGlobal.com)

  • A former general counsel at the U.S. Copyright Office and key contributor to the Music Modernization Act of 2018, Jacqueline Charlesworth, left Covington & Burling to join music and copyright boutique firm Alter Kendrick & Baron in New York, as a partner. And more personnel news from intellectual property firms and IP-related organizations. (BLAW via BLB)

Legal Education

  • Ian Samuel, a former co-host of the now-defunct “First Mondays” podcast about the Supreme Court, has resigned from his Indiana University law school faculty position after an investigation of alleged misconduct by him was completed. The school had put him on leave in December following allegations that emerged last fall. (BLAW via BLB)

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com; Molly Ward at mward@bloomberglaw.com

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