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Wake Up Call: Lat Presents Roster of New SCOTUS Clerk Hires

July 22, 2020, 12:44 PM

In today’s column, a judge in Yahoo!'s data breach class action rejected class counsel’s $30 million fee request; several Big Law firms advised as EBay Inc. agreed to sell its online classifieds business to a Norway-based company that beat out a private equity consortium for the deal; three big London law firms turned in very different results for their fiscal year that closed April 30; even during the Covid-19 pandemic, Big Law firms want to move into Northern California; and Akin Gump joined a challenge to the lead counsel in a decades-old landmark settlement on care of detained immigrant children.

  • Leading off, Covid-19 has changed the experience of U.S. Supreme Court clerks, and probably not for the better, writes legal recruiter David Lat, among other observations in his column about the court’s exceptional recent term. Plus, he presents comprehensive rosters he has compiled of Supreme Court justices’ clerk hires for October 2020, and some for 2021 and 2022. (Above the Law)

  • Lobbying firms are getting a boost from pandemic-related work, in what would normally be a slow period before a presidential election. (National Law Journal)

  • Elite U.K. firm Clifford Chance said its revenue rose 6% and profits per equity partner rose 5% in its fiscal year ending April 30, and that it has been “very busy” in certain areas including during two months of the pandemic. However, the firm told partners it expects a “rougher” fiscal 2020-2021, and warned that it would set aside funds against profits, including to pay for flexible working conditions and the return of employees to its offices. (Bloomberg News via BLAW)

  • Another big U.K. firm, Pinsent Masons, posted 2019-2020 revenue growth up 4% but PEP down 12%, a report says. (Law.com International)

  • London-based Ashurst saw its annual revenue inch up about 0.5 % to 644 million pounds (~$816 million) but its PEP fell 7%. (Law.com International)

  • Akin Gump joined lawyers from legal services nonprofits representing families in U.S. immigration custody. The families’ petition asks an L.A. federal judge to allow them to become parties to monitor enforcement of the landmark 1997 Flores court settlement on care of immigrant minors in U.S. custody, and to address the “adequacy” of the lead counsel in that settlement. (CBS News)

  • Some courts are backing off on their reopening efforts as Covid-19 cases and deaths rise throughout much of the U.S., while others face pushback from lawyers over resuming in-person operations. (BLAW)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Several Big Law firms advised as EBay Inc. agreed to sell its online classifieds business to Norway-based digital marketplace company Adevinta ASA for $9.2 billion. Advising eBay, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz was corporate legal counsel, and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan provided antitrust counsel. Skadden and Scandinavian firm BAHR were corporate legal counsel for Adevinta. (Adevinta.com)

  • Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton said it was global antitrust counsel for the deal for Adevinta and Scandinavian media conglomerate Schibsted, which spun off Adevinta ASA last year and was its majority shareholder. Cleary was M&A counsel to Schibsted for the eBay deal.(ClearyGottlieb.com)

  • Among the suitors Adevinta beat out, was a private equity consortium that included Blackstone Group Inc., Permira, and Hellman & Friedman. Cleary said Schibsted will acquire eBay Classifieds Denmark and retain a 33% stake in Adevinta. (Bloomberg News via BLAW)

  • Roy Den Hollander, the “anti-feminist” lawyer who’s the primary suspect in a shooting that killed a federal judge’s son and injured her husband in New Jersey, had a photograph of New York Chief Judge Janet DiFiore in his possession. (New York Law Journal) Den Hollander, who had been diagnosed with cancer, was also the leading suspect in the murder of a rival “men’s rights” attorney in California earlier this month, a report says. (ABC)

  • Elite Big Law firms including Paul Weiss, Freshfields, and others have been moving into Northern California’s legal market despite the pandemic, while others are boosting their presence. (The Recorder)

  • A Black former Davis Polk & Wardwell attorney suing the firm for alleged race bias and retaliation told a federal court he should get more time for discovery after missing his deadline. (BLAW)

  • A group of female lawyers suing Jones Day for alleged pay bias told a federal judge that evidence of a centralized pay-setting process at the firm justifies conditional class certification of their suit. (BLAW)

  • A Minnesota judge lifted his gag order in the criminal case of four police officers charged in the killing of George Floyd. (NPR)

Laterals, Moves

  • Skadden Arps added two former government attorneys to its Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States and national security practice. Office of the U.S. Trade Representative assistant general counsel Brooks Allen will join July 27 as counsel in Washington. Tatiana Sullivan, a former associate director for CFIUS operations and regulatory affairs at the Defense Department, will join in September from Stroock & Stroock & Lavan as a senior associate. (National Law Journal)

  • Weil, Gotshal & Manges said Eversheds Sutherland tax partner Daniel Nicholas joined Weil as a partner in Washington. (Weil.com)

In-house

  • Amazon.com Inc.and Google recruited public policy experts from Big Law firms for their in-house legal teams. Amazon hired antitrust litigator Sean Pugh from Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath while Google got energy regulatory lawyer James “Jamey” Goldin from Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough. (BLAW)

  • Honeywell International Inc. has shrunk its panel of preferred outside firms to 13 firms, from 100, as part of a year-old project that has allowed increasing diversity of its outside counsel and better managing legal spending, the company’s top lawyer, Anne Madden, said recently. (Corporate Counsel)

Technology

  • Boston-based legal tech company LinkSquares is starting a program aimed at making commercial and tech relationships with legal services businesses, consulting groups, and other tech companies. (Artificial Lawyer)

  • A California federal judge okayed Yahoo!’ Inc.'s $117.5 million class action settlement over its data breaches but she rejected class counsel’s $30 million fee request. (The Recorder)

  • For-profit legal research companies are not worried about competition from new non-profits entering the market, a report says. (Legaltech News)

Legal Education

  • “I thought it would be useful to just keep people posted.” Law.com interviewed the anonymous author of Twitter profile @BarExamTracker, which it called most comprehensive source of information on what’s happening nationally with bar exams in the country, including accurate recent predictions that several states would cancel their in-person exams. (Law.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: Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com; Darren Bowman at dbowman@bloomberglaw.com