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Wake Up Call: Winston & Strawn Gets Finance Partner in Chicago

March 4, 2021, 1:45 PM

In today’s column, as Covid uncertainties cause law firms to opt for short-term office leases post-pandemic, it’s a buyers’ market; Squire Patton Boggs recruited a former ambassador as a partner in Atlanta; Sidley Austin, Troutman Pepper, and Barnes & Thornburg posted increased revenue and profits for 2020 despite Covid’s economic cloud; a prominent pro-Trump lawyer got booted from an Atlanta lawyers’ club.

  • Leading off, Winston & Strawn hired leveraged finance specialist Andrew Hutchinson, a former Katten lawyer, as a partner in Chicago. Arriving most recently from Golub Capital, where he was a lending counsel, Hutchinson represents direct lenders, banks, and private equity sponsors in a wide range of leveraged and corporate finance transactions. (Winston.com)
  • With law firms still uncertain about when they’ll be able to return to in-person work, many firms are opting to stay put in existing offices and sign shorter leases. Two new reports from real estate services companies Newmark Group Inc. and Savills plc scan post-pandemic trends in the sector. (Commercial Property Executive) Law firms’ wait-and-see approach to leases is contributing to a buyer’s market for real estate. (American Lawyer)
  • Chicago-founded Sidley Austin said health care, life sciences, insurance, private equity, and restructuring were among its strong practices that pushed its revenue up 5.4% last year to about $2.46 billion, while profits per equity partner grew 9.8% to $3.1 million. The firm said it reaped some cost savings from Covid-19 restrictions, but not enough to affect its performance. (American Lawyer)
  • Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders, the 1,200-lawyer, 23-office firm born from the July 1 merger of Atlanta-based Troutman Sanders and Philadelphia-based Pepper Hamilton, had revenue and profit gains for the full year that beat the 2019 results of the predecessor firms. (Daily Report)
  • Indianapolis-based Barnes & Thornburg said life sciences, white collar, and employment practices helped drive an 8.5% rise in its gross revenues, to $506.2 million, while its M&A work was somewhat flat. Its PEP rose 6.6% to $1.067 million, while the firm said it avoided layoffs, pay cuts and furloughs. (American Lawyer)
  • Elite Chinese “Red Circle” law firms have so far made little headway in London or Wall Street. But they’ve made inroads in Hong Kong’s market and are working to get a bigger share of legal business in China and abroad. (Economist)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Pro-Trump attorneys are facing consequences for their efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election. The private Lawyer’s Club of Atlanta ousted Lin Wood, citing, among other factors, Wood’s call for former Vice President Mike Pence to face a firing squad. The New York City Bar Association is calling for a “serious” and “full” attorney-disciplinary investigation by New York State into Rudy Giuliani. (New York Law Journal)

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • Squire Patton Boggs said it recruited former ambassador to Luxembourg Randy Evans, an ex Dentons partner, for its litigation department in Atlanta. The head of Squire Patton Boggs’ Atlanta office praised Evans in a statement for his “diverse legal talents, reputation and relationships.” (LinkedIn)
  • After leaving her job as Goldman Sachs general counsel, Karen Seymour is reported to be returning to Sullivan & Cromwell where she started her career and spent 30 years, including as a partner. Global packaging company PAC Worldwide hired in-house veteran David Peterson, who’s had top roles at Amazon, Nintendo, and Eddie Bauer, to be its first-ever general counsel. (PR Newswire)
  • Lowenstein Sandler grabbed a two-partner, one counsel tax team from Winston & Strawn that specializes in international M&A, funds, and state and local tax, while Holland & Knight poached tax partner Joshua Odintz from Baker McKenzie. (HKLaw.com)

Technology

  • As some of the world’s biggest companies push their in-house counsel to do more and do it faster, companies are increasingly looking for in-house lawyers who know how to use technology to provide them with better strategies and services. (Financial Times)

To contact the reporter on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at rMitchell@correspondent.bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor on this story: Rebekah Mintzer in New York at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com

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