Bloomberg Law
May 26, 2023, 12:11 PM

Wake Up Call: Sidley, Willkie, Debevoise Lead Reinsurance Deals

Rick Mitchell
Rick Mitchell
Freelance Correspondent

Welcome to Bloomberg Law’s Wake Up Call, a daily rundown of the top news for lawyers, law firms, and in-house counsel.

  • Sidley Austin is advising financial services company Global Atlantic Financial Group on its $19.2 billion risk transfer deal with life insurer MetLife, Inc., advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Under the agreement, expected to close in the second half, Global Atlantic will reinsure a diversified portfolio of MetLife’s U.S. retail annuity and life insurance business.
  • Sidley said its team advising Global Atlantic includes insurance partners Jonathan Kelly and Chad Vance, among others. It said Willkie’s team includes partners John Schwolsky, Elizabeth Bannigan, and Howard Block. (Businesswire) (
  • Willkie said its team led by partners Gregory Astrachan and Michael Stern is advising Prudential Financial, Inc. on its $10 billion reinsurance deal with an affiliate of Constellation Insurance Holdings. Debevoise & Plimpton said its team led by insurance M&A partner Marilyn Lion is advising Constellation. (GlobeNewswire)
  • Steptoe & Johnson, which made last year’s Am Law 100, fell into the Am Law 200 second hundred this year, despite growing revenue and profits per equity partner. Most Washington area Am Law 200 second hundred firms fell in this year’s rankings, although some posted revenue gains in 2022. (National Law Journal)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Big French law firm Gide Loyrette Nouel announced that, starting June 1, it’s launching a patent litigation partnership with Paris-based intellectual property firm Regimbeau. The new partnership will help clients deal with increasingly complicated national litigation as well Europe’s new Unified Patent Court. (
  • Alan Dershowitz told a federal judge he shouldn’t get sanctioned for his work on election-challenge litigation for failed Arizona candidate for governor Kari Lake. (Courthouse News Service)
  • Delaware state courts will allow visitors to bring cellphones and other personal electronics into courtrooms June 1 as part of pilot program. (

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • Lowenstein Sandler hired tax attorney Melissa Wiley as partner in Washington. She arrives from Caplin & Drysdale. (
  • Alternative dispute resolution services provider JAMS recruited retired Los Angeles Superior Court judge Christine Byrd, a former federal prosecutor and Big Law partner, for its Los Angeles panel. JAMS also recruited retired Cook County, Illinois, family law judge Mark J. Lopez for its Chicago panel. (
  • UK firm Stevens & Bolton hired corporate attorney Jonathan Steele as partner from Charles Russell. (
  • Health care services organization Commonwealth Care Alliance hired health care industry in-house veteran David Weader as senior vice president and general counsel in Boston. He arrives after 16 years at insurer Geisinger Health Plan, as associate chief legal officer and regulatory affairs officer. (
  •, a music technology and licensing platform for Christian churches, hired veteran entertainment, tech, and intellectual property lawyer Matt Adams as head of legal and business affairs. He previously held in-house legal and business affairs roles at Sony Music Nashville, EMI Christian Music Group, LifeWay, and recently, Asurion. (Gospel Music Association)


  • San Diego-based civil litigation and insurance defense firm Tyson & Mendes announced it promoted eight attorneys to partner in California, Seattle, and New York. (


  • Existing cases suggest real-world laws will likely apply in the virtual world of the Metaverse. That’s among the observations in Crowell & Moring’s new Retail in the Metaverse and Beyond report. (

Legal Education

  • The National Conference of Bar Examiners, which develops bar exam content for 54 US jurisdictions, offered a preview of what its revised bar examination will look like when it launches in 2026. (
  • Wake Forest University School of Law named Andrew Klein, former dean of Indiana University’s McKinney School of Law, to be its new dean. Klein recently served as interim chancellor of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. (Winston Salem Journal)

To contact the correspondent on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer in New York at; Darren Bowman at

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