Bloomberg Law
June 15, 2017, 12:29 PM

Wake Up Call: Robert Mueller’s ‘Dream Team’ of Lawyers and Prosecutors

• Norton Rose Fulbright and Chadbourne & Parke said they are working to resolve unspecified “client conflicts,” but sources at both firms said the merger has not been delayed. Chadbourne has lost several lawyers since the deal was announced and is also fighting a former partner’s $100 million gender bias suit. ( BLB ) Yesterday, a Manhattan federal judge rejected Chadbourne’s request to throw out that suit. ( Am Law Daily )

• Former FBI director and special counsel Robert Mueller plans to interview two top U.S. intelligence officials about whether President Donald Trump sought their help to get the FBI to back off a related probe of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. ( Bloomberg ) The move is a major turning point almost one year into an FBI probe. ( Washington Post ) A look at Mueller’s “dream team” of prosecutors and lawyers and the attorneys Trump has assembled to face them. ( Bloomberg Businessweek )

• Proskauer Rose on Tuesday asked a Washington, D.C., federal judge to toss a gender discrimination lawsuit brought by an anonymous female partner, arguing she cannot sue because she is an owner and not employee of the firm. ( BLB )

• Reston, Virginia-based defense contractor Leidos Inc. said it hired veteran attorney Jerald Howe Jr. as executive vice president and general counsel. Howe comes from Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson’s Washington, D.C., office, where he headed the government contracts practice ( Inside Counsel )

• Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling 40 years ago that lawyers can advertise, personal injury firms and some criminal defense shops have splashily used TV, billboards, buses and trains to sell their services. But Big Law has taken a more risk-adverse approach, with a few exceptions. ( )

Law Firm Business

• The biggest U.S. firm by revenue, Latham & Watkins, continued expanding its global litigation practice, this time at the expense of Kirkland & Ellis, the firm it recently supplanted as No. 1. Latham grabbed a four-lawyer team led by Kirkland partners Joseph Serino and Eric Leon and associates Kuangyan Huang and Nate Taylor. Kirkland, meanwhile, got back partner James Schink from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, six months after he left for Quinn. ( Litigation Daily )

• Law firms have long allowed attorneys to pursue volunteer work and passion projects through pro bono hours. Now, O’Melveny & Myers plans to offer its approximately 600 staff members one paid volunteer day per year. ( BLB )

• Baker McKenzie LLP opened a Toronto laboratory for academics, business and technology and other professionals to brainstorm on addressing challenges “at the intersection of business, law and technology.” ( Canadian Lawyer & Law Times )

Legal Market

• Wells Fargo has been hit by new lawsuits that allege that its mortgage business made unauthorized changes to home loans held by customers in bankruptcy, even as the bank’s consumer unit was rocked by a huge sham accounts scandal. ( New York Times )

• Creditors contesting a plan by preppy clothing chain J. Crew Group Inc. to tame its $2 billion debt load are getting advice from law firm Jones Day and investment bank Houlihan Lokey. ( Bloomberg )

• A team of Holland & Knight lawyers laid the legal groundwork for a business park near a Miami airport, where Amazon now plans to set up a huge fulfillment center. ( Daily Business Review )

• The narrative changed several times on how former Fisher & Phillips partner Claud “Tex” McIver shot to death his advertising executive wife, Diane McIver, one September 2016 day in an SUV stopped at a light in Atlanta. And prosecutors convinced a county grand jury to change involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct charges against him to malice and murder. ( National Law Journal )

• Western Digital Corp. asked a court in California for an order blocking the sale of the chip unit of Toshiba Corp., its partner in a manufacturing joint venture. ( Bloomberg )

The Trump Administration

• A group of almost 200 Democratic lawmakers sued to block Trump from taking any money from foreign states at his global businesses without getting Congressional approval first, claiming his acceptance of such benefits violates the Constitution. ( Bloomberg ) Suing Trump over his business ties is becoming a growth industry. ( National Law Journal )

• Trump’s longtime “tough guy” lawyer Michael Cohen once threatened a reporter investigating Trump that he, Cohen, would “mess your life up.” Cohen, who has extensive links to Ukraine, is due to testify before the House intelligence committee on Sept. 5 about its investigation into Moscow’s interference in the U.S. election. ( Bloomberg )

• Opinion: Most law firms are “falling over themselves” to avoid working for Donald Trump. Example? When Marc Kasowitz took on the ignominious job of representing Trump, no one was happier than Jones Day, the firm that has put more attorneys in the Trump White House than any other. ( Above The Law )

Happening in SCOTUS and Other Courts

• The U.S. Supreme Court decided that federal citizenship rules violate the Constitution by making it harder for some foreign-born children of American men to become citizens than children born abroad to American women. ( Bloomberg )

• An adviser to a Paris administrative court said Google should not have to pay a 1.12 billion-euro ($1.3 billion) French tax recovery order, because its Ireland-based parent company has no permanent establishment in France. ( Bloomberg )

Laterals, Moves, Law Firm Work

• White & Case is losing five London associates who are leaving for Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP to join private equity partner Richard Youle, who made the jump a few days ago. Youle, who was global private equity co-head at White & Case was accompanied in the move by private equity partner Katja Butler. ( Legal Week )

• Sullivan & Cromwell expanded its new Brussels office by hiring Götz Drauz, an EU and German antitrust law expert, getting him from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Drauz is a former deputy director-general for competition at the European Commission, the European Union’s executive arm. ( Am Law Daily )

• U.K. firm Ashurst hired PwC tax specialist Emmanuelle Pontnau-Faure in Paris, a week after losing five lawyers to Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. ( Legal Week )

• Cleveland law firm Nicola, Gudbranson & Cooper said it has acquired a full-service immigration law boutique whose lawyers will become a practice in its firm. ( Cleveland Jewish News )


• It’s probably not okay to send naked pictures of yourself via LinkedIn. A financial industry professional’s sexual harassment lawsuit alleges that in a recruitment conversation on LinkedIn a banker trying to recruit her sent her sexual messages using his corporate account and one message included a photograph of his genitals. ( Bloomberg )

• The Pirate Bay, one of the last surviving file-sharing websites, is in peril after judges at the European Union’s top court warned that giving users free access to a trove of Hollywood movies, TV shows and music risks breaking the law. ( Bloomberg )

• Automakers -- and aspiring automakers -- are seeking permission from Congress to put more experimental self-driving cars on the road to speed their development. ( Bloomberg )

• People Trump has blocked from his Twitter feed include novelist Stephen King, a writer for Jimmy Kimmel, and war veterans group, according to a new “running” list. ( Wired )

Legal Education

• Skadden is said to have fired a summer associate who allegedly made racists remarks. ( Above The Law )

• Law students and attorneys with the University of Kansas School of Law clinic helped free a man jailed for 17 years in a case of mistaken identity. ( )

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Casey Sullivan.