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Wake Up Call: WarnerMedia GC Out as Discovery Merger Nears

April 7, 2022, 12:41 PM

In today’s column, former President Trump’s struggling social media network lost its chief legal officer; Jenner & Block matched the Cravath standard for associate pay; the ABA approved a policy aimed at improving diversity of continuing legal education panels.

  • Leading off, WarnerMedia’s executive vice president and general counsel Jim Meza is reported to be out of a job amidst a “purge” of the company’s top executives days ahead of the close of the studio’s merger with Discovery. (Deadline) (Variety)
  • A web site for a new Moscow-based law firm, Alumni Partners, says it includes the former Russia team for transatlantic firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner. Bryan Cave, like many Big Law firms, recently pulled out of Russia because of its invasion of Ukraine. (AlumniPartners.ru)
  • Jenner & Block matched the Cravath scale for associate pay. (Above The Law)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • The American Bar Association’s governing board approved a policy it says aims to improve diversity of panels in continuing legal education programs that it sponsors or co-sponsors. (Law.com) Sheppard Mullin launched a diversity fellowship for first-year law students. (SheppardMullin.com)
  • A London judge criticized Cleary Gottlieb’s billing rate of over 1,110 pounds ($1,438) for its representation of Korean electronics company LG in an appeal. (City A.M.)
  • FisherBroyles, which calls itself “the first and world’s largest distributed law firm,” said it’s celebrating its 20th anniversary. (FisherBroyles)

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • Squire Patton Boggs hired six lawyers across four offices for its data privacy, cybersecurity and digital assets practice, including new U.K. practice head David Naylor. Naylor joins from Wiggin, where he had a similar role. Also in London, partner Malcolm Dowden joined from Womble Bond Dickinson, and a former IT software and business services provider general counsel, George Wheeler-Carmichael, joined as consultant. Partner Bartolomé Martín joined in Madrid from KPMG Abogados, where he led the intellectual property and technology practice in Spain. The Squire practice also added two senior associates in Leeds, England, and Cincinnati, Ohio; Bryan Cave Leighton Pasiner brought in DLA Piper technology/outsourcing lawyer Anne Friedman as a partner in Santa Monica, California. (BCLPlaw.com)
  • K&L Gates hired IP partner Collin Rose in Houston, Texas. He was the chair of IP and technology & IP transactions practices at Chamberlain Hrdlicka; Hunton Andrews Kurth recruited two financial services attorneys in Dallas. Partner Josh McNulty comes from Bracewell, while counsel Rachael Craven, who was at the firm earlier in her career, returns from Apple Inc. where she was legal counsel for wallets, payments, and commerce; Duane Morris said corporate partner Adam Beckerink joined the firm in Chicago from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius; Morgan Lewis government contracts partner Stephen Ruscus moved to BakerHostetler as a partner in Washington; Blank Rome hired government contracts lawyer David Bodner in Washington. He was previously an attorney adviser in the U.S. Department of the Navy’s general counsel office; Morris, Manning & Martin added commercial real estate partner Jeffery DeArman in Birmingham, Alabama and Atlanta. He was chief legal officer at Ram Tool Construction Supply Co. (MMMLaw.com)
  • Truth Social, Donald Trump’s try at creating his own social media network, has reportedly lost its chief legal officer, Lori Heyer-Bednar. No word on where she’s headed. Before taking the CLO job, Heyer-Bednar was a Fort Lauderdale-based partner and business litigation practice head at Roetzel & Andress. (Politico) The National Basketball Players Association promoted longtime collective bargaining senior counsel Ron Klempner to general counsel, replacing Clarence Nesbitt. Nesbitt was “elevated” to chief legal officer and corporate secretary of Think450, the NBPA’s business, innovation, and partnership engine, the New York-based players’ union said. (NBPA); enterprise cloud platform Phunware, Inc. said it hired Bracewell partner Christopher Olive as executive vice president, general counsel and chief legal officer; a former chief intellectual property counsel at Boeing and Ford Motor Co., Joe Benz, took a job as the first-ever general counsel and chief legal officer at electric vehicle wireless charging company WiTricity. (Businesswire)

Promotions

  • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer announced it’s promoting 27 attorneys, including 11 women, to partner effective May 1. (Freshfields.com)

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer in New York at copfer@bloomberglaw.com; Darren Bowman at dbowman@bloomberglaw.com