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Wells Fargo Hires TD Bank’s Top Lawyer as Its Own

March 16, 2020, 12:31 PM

Embattled bank Wells Fargo & Co announced that it’s appointed Ellen Patterson of Toronto-Dominion Bank as its general counsel following a search that lasted several months

New Boss: Patterson, a former 14-year Simpson & Thacher partner, has been at the head of TD Bank’s legal department since 2017. She’ll be based out of the bank’s New York office, and joins Wells Fargo at an interesting time—the bank just last month inked a $3 billion settlement with the DOJ and SEC over consumer banking abuses.

Big Job: “I am excited to join Wells Fargo during a transformational time in the company’s history,” Patterson said. “I look forward to collaborating with leaders across the company to shape the culture, help businesses innovate, and produce the best outcomes for the customers and communities Wells Fargo serves.”

Brian Baxter has the story.

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DAILY BRIEF


Law Firms

Baker McKenzie Closes U.S., Toronto Offices in Response to Virus
Baker McKenzie is closing its U.S. and Toronto offices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the global firm said Friday, joining a number of Big Law firms who are requiring employees to work remotely.

Davis Wright Closes Multiple Offices After Legal Assistant Dies
Davis Wright Tremaine has announced the closure of its Bellevue, Wash. and Seattle offices following the death of an executive legal assistant who was experiencing flu-like symptoms.

Reed Smith’s U.S., Europe, Middle East Employees to Work Remote
Reed Smith will have employees in its U.S., Europe, and Middle East offices working remotely until further notice to limit coronavirus spread, a firm representative said in a statement.

Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross Joins Richards, Layton & Finger
Former Bankruptcy Court Judge Kevin Gross will join Wilmington, Del., law firm Richards, Layton & Finger, P.A. after retiring from the bench earlier this month.

In-House

T-Mobile Lawyer Tapped for Top Legal Role After Sprint Merger
The in-house lawyer who helped oversee T-Mobile US Inc.’s successful $26.5 billion takeover of Sprint Corp. last month is set to lead the combined company’s law department.

Satellite Startup Hires Space Law Expert as Next General Counsel
At a time when many people are thinking about leaving earth, Hawkeye 360 Inc. is looking to pinpoint things on this planet.

Business of Law

California Bar Board Requests Comment on More Lawyer Fee Sharing
California lawyers could expand fee-sharing arrangements with non-profits under a proposed rule out for public comment as part of the state bar’s effort to improve access to justice.

Want to Sue Because of a Coronavirus Quarantine? Good Luck
Unprecedented government restrictions being placed on public gatherings and personal behavior in the face of the coronavirus outbreak could eventually trigger civil rights challenges, but legal experts say they would be tough to win.

Black Washington AG Office Lawyer Loses Whistleblower, Bias Suit
A black attorney fired from Washington, D.C.,'s attorney general’s office can’t proceed to trial on whistleblower and race discrimination claims, the District of Columbia’s top court affirmed Thursday.

Ethics

Indefinite Suspension for N.Y. Lawyer After $150K Goes Missing
A New York lawyer has been indefinitely suspended after failing to answer three complaints filed by the state attorney grievance committee regarding settlement funds of more than $150,000 he received and never disbursed.

Judiciary

Tesla’s Musk Saved From Court Grilling by Coronavirus Delay
Elon Musk doesn’t think much of the public reaction to the coronavirus pandemic. But it temporarily saved the Tesla Inc. chief executive from a grilling on the witness stand.

WAKE-UP CALL

House Lead Impeachment Counsel Tests Positive for Covid-19
In today’s column, amidst the spreading outbreak of novel coronavirus Covid-19, law firms announced more office closures, shifts to remote work, and more firms launched Covid-19 task forces and resources. More courts closed or limited physical access to proceedings. And in news not related to the virus, Fish & Richardson reported revenue and profit gains for 2019; while Akin Gump poached a Gibson Dunn finance partner in London.

BLOOMBERG LAW ANALYSIS

ANALYSIS: Emerging Trends in Courts’ Reactions to Coronavirus
The evolving legal landscape in the age of COVID-19, as the disease caused by the new coronavirus is known, has seen a lot of action across the nation’s courts this week. As more courts issue notices, standing orders, and the like to address who may come to court, who should stay home, and what matters will proceed and in what form, there are some trends starting to emerge.

PRACTITIONER INSIGHTS

INSIGHT: A Crescendo of Calls for Student-Athletes’ Right to Play and Get Paid
The NCAA faces criticism for its policies on student-athlete compensation and transfer eligibility. Mintz attorneys examine California’s new law that allows for endorsements and conflicts with NCAA rules, how other states and Congress are considering similar laws, and litigation to watch in 2020.

INSIGHT: U.S.-China Trade Agreement IP Provisions Ambitious
The new Economic and Trade Agreement between the U.S. and China contains provisions that will strengthen IP protection and enforcement in China. Snell & Wilmer LLP attorneys discusses key aspects of the agreement from an IP perspective and say it is notably ambitious in terms of China’s commitments.

INSIGHT: How GCs Can Evolve From ‘Lawyer in the Room’ to Strategic Business Partner
Modern general counsel need to partner with the CEO and advise on more than just legal matters. Nathan Wenzel, CEO of SimpleLegal, says GCs are expected to be strategic business partners, analysts, and budget managers, and offers tips on how to achieve these goals.

LEGAL OPERATIONS SURVEY

Bloomberg Law’s second annual Legal Operations survey is live. Click here to provide confidential insights and perspectives into legal processes and operations, legal technology adoption, and other important topics.

WORKFLOWS

Baker & Hostetler launched an office in San Francisco after adding Robb Adkins as a partner from Winston & Strawn | Debevoise & Plimpton said that Eric Dinallo has returned to the firm to chair its Insurance Regulatory Practice and join its Financial Institutions and White Collar & Regulatory Defense Groups | Jackson Walker has relocated its San Angelo office; their new address is 136 W. Twohig, Suite B, San Angelo, TX 76903 | Greenberg Traurig elevated five attorneys to shareholder and five to of counsel in the firm’s California offices | Sherman & Howard elected six new leaders to management positions | Thompson Coburn appointed Rick Reibman as managing partner of the Chicago office (he is a vice chair of the Corporate and Securities group); the firm also announced the opening of a new office in Dallas | McCarter & English recently elected Thomas “Tom” Finn as the newest member of the Executive Committee, while Cynthia Keliher has been reelected to the committee | Shook, Hardy & Bacon promoted 14 attorneys to partner | Marshall Dennehey launched four new practice groups - Behavioral Health Risk and Liability, Electronic Medical Record and Audit Trail Litigation, Emergency Medical Services, and Telehealth and Telemedicine | Nixon Peabody promoted 13 attorneys to counsel | Shutts & Bowen recently appointed James Eaglesham as the firm’s new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) | K&L Gates has elected 41 lawyers worldwide as new partners of the firm; 17 out of 41 of the lawyers are women.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Bruce Kaufman in Washington at bkaufman@bloomberglaw.com