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Wake Up Call: Victims In Paris Attacks Included Hogan Lovells Associate

Nov. 16, 2015, 1:14 PM

• Among the first victims identified from the terrorist attacks in Paris Friday night was a 26-year old white-collar associate litigator at Hogan Lovells. Valentin Ribet was killed at the Bataclan concert hall in the east of Paris, the firm said. (New York Times/Hogan Lovells)

• In light of the latest terrorist attacks in Paris, a look at France’s controversial new surveillance laws, which have been likened to U.S. Patriot Act but actually go further than that law. (Motherboard)

• The Paris terrorists might have used Sony’s PlayStation 4,the world’s most popular gaming console, to communicate to plan their attacks. (Forbes)

Legal Market

• The subdued reaction to Dentons’ recent announcement that it had “formalized” its merger with China’s Dacheng Law Offices suggests that such a step is the least sexy part of a merger of major law firm. But what exactly does “formalizing” mean? (Big Law Business)

• As Google Inc. prepares to transform its legal structure by forming a new company called “Alphabet,” its legal department is also undergoing big changes. (The Recorder)

• In settling its twin law suits against the North Carolina Bar, online legal form provider LegalZoom has essentially won its battle and war against efforts in North Carolina and some other states to have it classified as an unauthorized practice of law. (Big Law Business)

• In a speech to the conservative Federalist Society’s annual conference for lawyers, the White House’s top legal official Thursday argued for reducing nonviolent drug offenders’ prison sentences, emphasizing the role of state and congressional legislation in what he called a bipartisan issue. (National Law Journal)

• In the face of falling demand for their services, New Jersey law firms are cutting back on spending, managing partners at firms said. (New Jersey Law Journal)

• White & Case plans to close its Munich office , offering its 11-lawyer team the option of relocating to Frankfurt, as the firm concentrates on developing its German offices in Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Düsseldorf, it said. (The Lawyer)

Laterals and Moves

• DLA Piper has hired the Indonesia practice head of UK law firm Clyde & Co, Michael Horn, to be a partner in its Singapore office, its fourth partner hire in the city this year. (The Lawyer)

• Hogan Lovells has hired away three partners from Latham & Watkins to grow its Dubai office and expand its corporate and finance practices for the Middle East, the firm said. (Hogan Lovells)

• The British litigation funder Woodsford has hired Brown Rudnick partner Steven Friel as its chief investment officer. Friel, who most recently has represented bondholders and shareholders in disputes linked to restructuring of Eurozone banks, has previously been at Debevoise & Plimpton in London and New York. (Global Legal Post)

• Outgoing Columbus, Ohio Mayor Mike Coleman announced he is joining the Ice Miller law firm as Director of Business and Government Strategies. (NBC4i.com)

Technology

• According to a recent report from Google , with help from the University of Michigan and University of Illinois, email is getting safer, with encryption increasing both within Google’s Gmail service and other email providers, and email authentication also becoming normalized, but new security problems are appearing for this form of communication. (LegalTech news)

Better naked than broke:A large majority of Americans would rather would rather face public release of nude photos of themselves than have their personal banking information hacked, according to a new survey. (LegalTech news)

• The dramatically increased cyberthreats that the financial and business sectors face today make it crucial that policy makers enact laws governing cyberthreat information sharing between government and industry. (TechCrunch)

Legal Education

• As more law schools create so-called hybrid specialties including instruction in information technology, some graduates with mixed skills are sidestepping the practice of law to get jobs in practice management and other administrative jobs that require a mix of legal analysis and hacking skills.(The Recorder)

• The embattled University of Missouri has named a former civil rights lawyer,Michael Middleton, as interim president to replace Tim Wolfe, who resigned in the face of escalating racial tensions and protests over his leadership. (Washington Post)

Miscellaneous • Harvey Myerson, the once “legendary” managing partner at Finley, Kumble, Wagner, Underberg, Manley, Myerson & Casey , convicted in 1992 of fraudulently overbilling clients at the fallen firm, died earlier this year in South Florida. (The American Lawyer)

• Highlights from Big Law Business’s Diversity and Inclusion event in San Francisco , which featured legal industry leaders who shared insights and lessons about progress and stumbling blocks their firms face on the issue. (Big Law Business)

• The two biggest fantasy sports games sites, FanDuel Inc. and DraftKings Inc., have filed lawsuits to fight New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s effort to shut them down in the state, an important source of their earnings. (Big Law Business/Bloomberg News)