Wake Up Call: Weinstein’s Legal Team Busts Up Months Before Criminal Trial

June 18, 2019, 11:47 AM
  • Harvey Weinstein’s “all star” white collar legal team has fallen apart less than three months before the fallen movie kingpin is due to go on trial for sexual assault in New York. Top criminal defense lawyer Jose Baez asked a State Supreme Court justice in Manhattan to let him to withdraw from Weinstein’s case, citing disagreements with his client, and payment issues, according to reports. (PageSix.com)

  • Baez heads for the exit about a month after Weinstein lost Harvard University Law professor Ron Sullivan, who left after the school removed him as faculty dean, amidst campus protests over his work for Weinstein. (NYT)

  • Weinstein formed the white collar team after his acrimonious split, early this year, with another Manhattan star white collar defense lawyer, Benjamin Brafman. (BLB) In May Weinstein’s civil lawyers were said to have reached a $44 million settlement with the women who accused him of sexual misconduct, board members of his former studio, and the New York attorney general’s office. (BLB)

  • Two former top lawyers at global corporations have hooked up to launch a New York-based company focused on dispute resolution. AcumenADR was started by former Mastercard general counsel Noah Hanft, who most recently was CEO of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution, and former 3M GC Richard Ziegler, who recently retired as co-chair of Jenner & Block’s international arbitration practice. (AcumenADR.com) (Corporate Counsel)

  • The federal government shelled out roughly $3.6 billion for outside legal services in the 10-year period ending Sept. 30, 2018. Recently merged firm Hunton Andrews Kurth racked up the biggest dollar tally in government contracts, followed by Klarquist Sparkman, Leydig Voit & Mayer, Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, according to new data. (BLAW)

  • Schulte Roth and Zabel’s independent probe of Washington, D.C., Metro board Chairman Jack Evans found several ethics code violations in his relations with two private companies and a 2018 business plan he used to seek a job, the ethics committee’s chairman said Monday. Evans, a long-serving D.C., Council member, got a council reprimand in March and he faces further sanctions for allegedly using his government staff and email to solicit business from law firms that lobby the city. (WaPo)

  • Ropes & Gray filed an amicus brief in Winston & Strawn’s U.S. Supreme Court case challenging a California court ruling that invalidated partner Constance Ramos’ employee-arbitration agreement, in a dispute in which she alleges pay discrimination and retaliation, among other things. (National Law Journal)

  • Former Jones Day partner Wendy Moore dropped her pay discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against the firm, Jones Day said. (BLAW via BLB)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • MassMutual said its innovative fee arrangement collaboration project with Drinker Biddle & Reath has allowed the insurer to cut legal spending by 12% per disability claim litigation matter, and slashed litigation time by 40%. (BLAW via BLB)


  • DLA Piper said it advised Q2 Holdings, Inc., a Texas-based provider of digital banking solutions, on a $210.8 million public offering of its common stock and a concurrent private placement of $316.25 million in convertible senior notes. (DLAPiper.com)

  • Shearman & Sterling said it is advising CCI Lyon Métropole on negotiations for a $100 million capital increase over five years in which pension fund Qualium and public investment bank BPI France would acquire minority stakes in Makers Group, the CCI Lyon-owned holding company of French business school EM Lyon, with a view to developing the school. (Unquote.com) (Lyoncapital.fr)

Laterals, Moves, Promotions

  • Reed Smith hired its second international arbitration lawyer in a month, this time getting Ben Love as counsel in New York. He arrives from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, where he was senior associate. (ReedSmith.com)

  • Dykema added veteran international disputes lawyer Timothy J. McCarthy to its commercial litigation practice group as a senior counsel in Dallas. McCarthy spent his last two decades in New York, at firms including Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, White & Case, and, most recently, Carter Ledyard & Milburn. (Dykema.com)

  • Cooley added Latham & Watkins competition and merger control attorney Stella Sarma to its global antitrust & competition team as special counsel in its new Brussels office. (Cooley.com)

  • Duane Morris grabbed five lawyers including four partners for the firm’s corporate and trial practices across three offices, from Virginia-based LeClairRyan. The partners include: in Boston, Charles Ognibene, who led LeClairRyan’s business law department, and consumer finance and banking litigator Michael Grant; commercial litigator Robert Brener joins in Newark; while auto finance attorney William Dubon joined in New York. Trial associate Michael R. Garcia joined in Boston. (DuaneMorris.com)

  • Holland & Knight hired private equity and M&A lawyer Matthew Bielen as a partner in Miami. According to his LinkedIn, Bielen, a former Federal Trade Commission lawyer, arrives from McDermott Will & Emery, where he was a partner, and he also spent time at Kirkland & Ellis as an associate in San Francisco. (HKLaw.com)

  • Brown Rudnick said ex-Navy SEAL G. Derek Andreson joined the firm as a partner in Washington, in the firm’s white collar defense & government investigations practice group. Andreson arrives from Winston & Strawn, where he was a partner and co-chair of the global anti-corruption & FCPA practice group. (BrownRudnick.com)

  • Kramer Levin added patent litigator Irena Royzman as a partner in New York. Royzman, who has a doctorate in biology, was co-chair of the biotechnology practice at her previous firm, Patterson Belknap. (KramerLevin.com)

  • Seward & Kissel added real estate lawyer Rhona Kisch as a partner in New York. (Sewkis.com)

Regulators and Enforcement

  • Cheating at KPMG was “extensive” the Securities and Exchange Commission said after the Big Four accounting firm agreed to pay a $50 million SEC penalty for schemes to game internal training tests and other ethical failures. (Bloomberg Tax)


  • Elevate Services has raised $25 million from a private equity firm, giving the L.A. legal services provider $60 million in total capital as it eyes a possible 2021 IPO. (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

To read more articles log in.

Learn more about a Bloomberg Law subscription.