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Wake Up Call: White & Case Cross-Border Work Drives 20% Growth

Feb. 18, 2022, 1:38 PM

In today’s column, Dentons poached a sustainability and operations specialist from Hogan Lovells to be its first global head of ESG; two Big Law firms announced investigations of lawyers accused of misconduct; Silicon Valley-based Gunderson Dettmer matched the Milbank scale for associate pay.

  • Leading off, White & Case’s revenue rose 20.2% to $2.87 billion in 2021 with more than half of that growth coming from cross-border work. Revenue was up by double-digits for all the firm’s global regions led by Asia-Pacific’s 30% growth. The firm’s profits per equity partner jumped 16.3% to $3.51 million, while its headcount and equity partnership both expanded, according to this report. (American Lawyer)
  • Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe’s U.S. headquarters is reportedly investigating a Munich, Germany-based associate’s complaint that she was groped by a partner at the firm; Hogan Lovells reportedly suspended a senior associate in London who was accused of “serious misconduct.” (RollonFriday)
  • Silicon Valley firm Gunderson Dettmer matched the Milbank salary scale for associates and is paying more than the scale for its most senior associates. (Above The Law) Florida state attorney and public defender offices blame low pay and heavy caseloads for their shortages of attorneys. (ClickOrlando.com)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • A Russian invasion of Ukraine would hit London law firms’ “roaring trade” representing clients from former Soviet states, a report says. (Financial Times) Norton Rose Fulbright’s Hong Kong expat partners reacted to the firm’s plans to focus almost exclusively on China clients and Mandarin speakers. “It’s like a kick in the teeth,” said one partner. (Law.com International)
  • O’Melveny & Myers said it represented Earnipay, a Nigerian fintech company that says it helps African workers get faster access to their pay, in a $4 million funding round led by early-stage venture capital firm Canaan. (TechCrunch) Relationships between private equity sponsors and their sources of financing have evolved dramatically, Kirkland & Ellis debt finance partner Eric Wedel says in a podcast interview. (The Deal)
  • Sanford Heisler Sharp announced a civil rights fellowship named after a former senior litigation counsel at the firm, Tom Henderson, who died in October 2021. Henderson had spent 14 years as chief counsel at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. (SanfordHeisler.com)

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • Dentons, the world’s biggest law firm by headcount, recruited Tokyo-based sustainability, operations, and recruiting specialist Aragon St-Charles as its first global head of environmental, social and governance. St.-Charles, who joins from Hogan Lovells, will help design and implement Dentons’ firmwide ESG strategy and help design ESG products for the firm’s clients. (Dentons)
  • Buchalter added six attorneys to its three-month-old Salt Lake City office, including shareholders Douglas Farr who arrives from Snell & Wilmer and focuses on commercial litigation. Lance Lehnhof, who focuses on corporate and transactional matters, and Blake Cooper, focusing on mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures, arrive from Carman Lehnhof Israelsen; Hogan Lovells hired mergers & acquisitions lawyers Peter Cohen-Millstein and Megan Ridley-Kaye as partners in New York from Linklaters; Barnes & Thornburg grabbed Reed Smith financial services and insurance recovery partner Lilit Asadourian in Los Angeles. She previously served as seconded legal counsel for Fifth Third Bank and Bank of America. (BTLaw.com)
  • Akerman appointed partners Beau Baker, in New York and Jacksonville, and Samuel Zylberberg, in New York, as co-chairs of the firm’s real estate finance practice; employer-side worklaw firm Fisher Phillips hired attorney Patrick Collopy in Denver; Blank Rome picked up real estate lawyer Kaitlyn West in New York; Seward & Kissel added real estate lawyer Camille Paulus as counsel in New York. She arrives from Skadden Arps; Tango Card, a digital rewards and incentives provider, hired former Amazon.com payments senior corporate counsel Christine Habeeb as its first full-time chief legal officer and general counsel. A Hogan Lovells antitrust attorney earlier in her career, she was recently product counsel at payment platform Stripe. (PR Newswire)

Technology

  • Paradigm, a provider of legal practice management and payments software, acquired TrustBooks, a cloud-based accounting software built for law firms. (Businesswire)

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