The Biglaw Firms Potentially Caught in the Cohen Raid

Above the Law reports that the names of some of the biggest law firms in the country have come to light after the Department of Justice seized records from the home and office of Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.

“The first Biglaw firm caught up in the mess is Squire Patton Boggs. Last year the firm announced a strategic alliance with Cohen, but as the heat’s been turned up, they’ve sought to distance themselves,” writes editor Kathryn Rubino.

Other firms’ materials could have been caught in the raid, including Morgan Lewis, Gerstman Schwartz Malito, and Cole Schotz, the article states.

Read the Above the Law article.



Jones Day Takes Big Hit in Above the Law’s Power 100 Law Firm Rankings

Above the Law has published its latest Power 100 law firm firm ranking, which measures firms’ reputations and their appeal as potential employers for  talented lawyers.

Editor Elie Mystal focuses on results for Jones Day, which fell 33 spots in the rankings, from number 18 to number 58.

“Jones Day declined in every objective data point we measured. But the objective points are only half of the methodology,” Mystal writes. “The other half is a reputation survey, and that’s where Jones Day got stuffed in a locker and ridiculed by all the cool kids.”

He posits that the firm’s association with President Donald Trump may have led to the sharp decline. Partner Don McGahn took on the job as White House Counsel, and the firm was quick to associate itself with the new administration in 2017.

Read the Above the Law article.




Webinar: Automating with a Legal Ops Platform vs Siloed Product Solutions

Kim Technologies will present a complimentary webinar, “Automating with a Legal Ops Platform vs Siloed Product Solutions,” on May 3, 2018, beginning at 1 p.m. EDT.

“The benefits of a unified software platform over multiple siloed products are clear,” the company says on its website. “Who wouldn’t want to keep all their data in one place; search and report on anything at the click of a button; provide a seamless user experience across the entire department or organization? Traditionally, this ‘holy grail’ has taken huge amounts of time and money to implement and maintain, and has rarely been an option for Legal. Instead, most law departments and law firms have organically grown a hodge-podge of software siloes that create an obstacle to innovation, efficiency and transparency.”

This webinar will cover:

  • Global AI market update
  • Preparing for the Age of Data
  • Platform vs Product and why it matters
  • To code or not to code, that is the question
  • Automating workflows, documents and dashboards in hours, with no IT support!
  • Q&A session

Register for the webinar.



Using Your Professional Bio to Impress Potential Law Firm Clients

Image by ImageCreator

Bruce Vincent of Muse Communications offers some tips on the best practices for writing or updating your online biography to impress potential clients.

In a post on the Muse website, Vincent says the key is making sure that what you say about yourself is well written, organized, and presented in a way that will impress the people who see it.

One of the best places to start when you’re ready to begin writing or updating your bio is to handle the “easy stuff” before working on the narrative, including your:

  • Areas of practice;
  • Undergraduate and law school and any accompanying honors;
  • Professional affiliations, including local and state bar groups;
  • Professional accolades;
  • Pro bono accomplishments;
  • Published articles or presentations.

Read the article.



DLA Piper Disputes Claims About Lawyers Exiting for McDermott

Crain’s Chicago Business reports that the exodus of DLA Piper lawyers leaving for McDermott Will & Emery is “significantly” fewer than 50 and brings in “dramatically” less than the $100 million in revenue attributed to them, according to an internal DLA memo.

The memo is a response to reports that about 50 lawyers across the country were leaving the legal behemoth for Chicago-based McDermott. Reporter Claire Bushey writes that  McDermott Chairman Ira Coleman wrote in a memo that altogether, the new attorneys would add more than $100 million to McDermott’s top line.

DLA Piper firm leaders responded in an email to employees that the McDermott memo contained “materially inaccurate and misleading pieces of information.”

Read the Crain’s article.



DLA Piper Announces Partnership Promotions for 2018

DLA Piper announces that 62 lawyers have been promoted to its partnership. The promotions are effective as of April 1, 2018, in the United States and May 1, 2018, for EMEA and Asia Pacific. The promotions were made across many of the firm’s practice areas in 42 different offices throughout 20 countries.

Across the firm’s practices globally, Litigation and Regulatory saw the largest intake of new partners with 16 promotions, followed by Corporate with 14 promotions. Tax and Finance and Projects both had eight. Real Estate and Intellectual Property and Technology had six and four promotions respectively, while there were three in Employment, two in Government Affairs and one in the firm’s US Office of General Counsel.

In total, there were 19 promotions in the United States, six in Canada, ten in the United Kingdom, 18 across Continental Europe, two in Asia, two in Latin America, two in the Middle East, two in Australia and a further one in South Africa. A full list of partner promotions by office and practice is included below.

Simon Levine, Global Co-CEO of DLA Piper, commented, “I would like to congratulate all of our lawyers who have been promoted to partners this year. This round of promotions brings to our partnership another highly talented group from across the world who represent the quality, breadth and depth of DLA Piper and are vital to the continued success of our business.”

Jay Rains, Global Co-CEO, added, “We are delighted by the promotion of this talented, diverse group of top-caliber lawyers. Their client work and importance to the firm are now a foundational part of our ongoing success and our ability to evolve to meet the challenges of the market, and they will play a key role in our delivery of legal services of the highest quality and value to our clients around the world. We look very forward to their ongoing contributions.”

Full list of partners by office:

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Michiel Coenraads, Litigation and Regulatory
Leen van der Marel, Real Estate

Atlanta, United States
Jeremy Corcoran, Corporate

Austin, United States
Rebecca McKnight, Government Affairs

Baltimore, United States
Kathleen Birrane, Litigation and Regulatory
Thomas Grace, Tax

Bangkok, Thailand
Don Rojanapenkul, Litigation and Regulatory

Birmingham, United Kingdom
Phillip Kelly, Litigation and Regulatory

Boston, United States
Brian Awe, Real Estate
Andrew Sroka, Finance and Projects

Brussels, Belgium
Laurent De Surgeloose, Employment

Bucharest, Romania
Alina Lacatus, Corporate

Calgary, Canada
Ryana Mather, Corporate

Chicago, United States
Ferlillia Roberson, Intellectual Property and Technology

Dubai, UAE
Richard Hughes, Corporate
Jamie Ryder, Intellectual Property and Technology

Edmonton, Canada
Veronica Monteiro, Corporate

Frankfurt, Germany
Christian Lonquich, Real Estate
Carlos Robles y Zepf, Corporate

Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Christina Loh, Corporate

Houston, United States
Grayson Stratton, Litigation and Regulatory

Johannesburg, South Africa
Janine Simpson, Litigation and Regulatory

Kyiv, Ukraine
Illya Sverdlov, Tax

Lisbon, Portugal
Vanessa Antunes, Litigation and Regulatory

London, United Kingdom
Chris Arnold, Corporate
Joel Cooper, Tax
Randall Fox, Tax
Steven Krivinskas, Finance and Projects
Christina Lawrence, Litigation and Regulatory
Kelly Lovegrove, Tax
Peter Lowe, Real Estate
Bryony Robottom, Finance and Projects

Los Angeles, United States
Andrew Hoffman, Litigation and Regulatory

Madrid, Spain
Juan Gelabert, Finance and Projects
Ricardo Plasencia, Corporate

Miami, United States
Chad Ehrenkranz, Corporate

Milan, Italy
Alessandro Ferrari, Intellectual Property and Technology
Alessandro Martinelli, Tax
Davide Rossetti, Litigation and Regulatory

Minneapolis, United States
Poonam Kumar, Corporate

Moscow, Russia
Philip Lamzin, Finance and Projects

New York, United States
Evan Parness, Employment

Northern Virginia, United States
Joe Davis, Office of General Counsel

Paris, France
Myriam Mejdoubi, Real Estate
Theobald Naud, Litigation and Regulatory

Perth, Australia
Alyson Eather, Finance and Projects

Philadelphia, United States
Brian Robinson, Litigation and Regulatory

Phoenix, United States
Jared Jensen, Corporate

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Luiz Augusto Osorio, Corporate

São Paulo, Brazil
Carolina Marcondes Sant’Angelo, Corporate

Seattle, United States
Kate Lucente, Intellectual Property and Technology

Sheffield, United Kingdom
Alastair Clough, Litigation and Regulatory

Silicon Valley, United States
SeoJung Park, Tax

Sydney, Australia
Eddie Ahn, Tax

Toronto, Canada
Russel Drew, Finance and Projects
Leslie Frattolin, Employment

Vancouver, Canada
Morgan Burris, Litigation and Regulatory
Michael Mjanes, Real Estate

Warsaw, Poland
Andrzej Balicki, Litigation and Regulatory
Tomasz Rudyk, Litigation and Regulatory

Washington DC, United States
Brad Jorgensen, Government Affairs
David Ridenour, Finance & Projects



Biglaw Partner Out Amid Russian Sanctions Scandal

Above the Law is reporting that Reed Smith partner Andrei Baev is out a year after joining the firm from Chadbourne & Parke. Baev has come under scrutiny recently for his connections to Republican donor Elliott Broidy.

Bloomberg has reported that Baev contacted Broidy, a Los Angeles-based financier currently serving as deputy finance chair for the Republican National Committee, about working together on a campaign to influence members of the Trump administration in order to alleviate U.S. sanctions against certain Russian companies.

Editor Kathryn Rubino writes that “Norton Rose Fulbright (which last year merged with Chadbourne) has denied that work was done to actually remove Russian companies from the U.S. sanctions list.”

Read the Above the Law article.




On-Demand: Law Firm Process Improvement Workshop

CRE8 Independent Consultants presents a free on-demand workshop on law firm process improvement, offering 20 ideas in 20 minutes.

Today, to attract and maintain clients, law firms are being asked to lower fees through discounted rates, alternative fee arrangements, fixed fee through the life of the matter, and to follow client guidelines that restrict who can bill and what expenses can be charged, the company says on its website. Firms can respond by writing off charges (losing profitability) or by examining their internal processes to determine how to increase efficiency and to improve quality. How should AmLaw 100, and 200 law firm Executive Directors, Chiefs, and Partners respond to these challenges? Education is the first step.

This workshop in 20 minutes discusses:

  • what are the internal, and external signs a law firm needs process improvement,
  • over twenty different areas within a firm that can benefit from process improvement,
  • how a firm can use procedural changes (non-technology) to reduce costs, mistakes, communication issues, and re-work; while improving quality and client service,
  • why process improvement is important before installing a new computer system,
  • process improvement methods for law firms,
  • a five-step process improvement method to improve a law firm,
  • how to engage professional and administrative staff to participate in, and support the successful roll-out of process changes, and
  • how to create a culture within the firm to sustain on-going process improvement.

Sign up for the on-demand workshop.



4 Reasons You Still Should Issue a Press Release

In the era of online content marketing, the press release seems as quaint and outdated as the fax machine. But a well-written, concise, timely press release remains one of the most potent vehicles for getting your law firm’s story in front of important audiences, writes Amy Boardman Hunt for Muse Communications.

“The reason press releases are more important today is that we’re no longer solely, or even primarily, interested in winning over increasingly hard-to-win-over reporters,” she explains. “Lawyers and law firms who use content marketing are essentially their own publishers now. As long as you have a website, social media or email (ideally, all three), you can tell your own story directly to your clients and potential clients.”

She discusses four reasons why an old-fashioned press release is still a great way to get your story out there, and offers advice on how to get attention for the news.

Read the article.




Latham & Watkins Chair Resigns Amid Revelation of Personal, ‘Sexual’ Conduct

Bloomberg Law is reporting that Bill Voge, the managing partner and chair of Latham & Watkins, has stepped down and resigned from the firm after admitting to inappropriate personal conduct of a “sexual nature,” the firm announced on Tuesday.

The firm said Voge made a series of voluntary disclosures to the firm’s executive committee and then resigned. The conduct he described “involved the exchange of communications of a sexual nature with a woman whom he has never met in person and who had no connection to the Firm.”

“Latham was ranked as the top grossing law firm in the world in 2017, with $2.8 billion in revenue, more than 2,200 lawyers and offices flung all over the world,” writes reporter Casey Sullivan.

Read the Bloomberg article.



Making Sure Your Website is Compliant with State Bar of Texas Ad Rules

Making sure a firm’s website is compliant with State Bar of Texas advertising rules is just one of the many responsibilities for Texas lawyers and law firms who are launching a new site or updating an existing site, writes Bruce Vincent in a blog post for Muse Commuinications.

“Just like television or print advertisements, websites are considered advertising by the State Bar of Texas,” he explains. “That means that your site’s content must be submitted for approval to the State Bar Advertising Review Committee, which has maintained responsibility for approving and monitoring legal advertising, including websites, for more than 20 years.”

He discusses some common ad rules violations, such as misrepresenting specialization and professional honors, making unfair comparison to other firms, improperly listing verdict amounts, and including photos of non-lawyers.

Read the article.



Outside Counsel Industry Rankings: Which Biglaw Firms Are Best For Your Specific Company?

Above the Law takes a look at the law firms that are highest-rated by in-house counsel based on the industries they work in.

The report is based on Above the Law’s Outside Counsel rankings, a broad overview of the 50 firms in-house counsel trust the most when they need outside help.

Elie Mystal takes a look at the firms that were highest rated in finance and in energy. The complete report includes top 10 lists from six different industries: Consumer Products, Energy, Media/Entertainment, Life Sciences/Health Care, Finance, and Tech.

Read the Above the Law article.




Dead Law Firm’s Estate Can’t Collect Fees, California Court Says

The California Supreme Court has ruled that failed law firms are not entitled to fees earned on legal matters that are in progress – but not completed – at the time the firm closes its doors, reports Bloomberg Law.

“Any expectation the law firm had in continuing the legal matters cannot be deemed sufficiently strong to constitute a property interest allowing it to have an ownership stake in fees earned by its former partners, now situated at new firms, working on what was formerly the dissolved firm’s cases,” according to the court’s opinion.

Reporter Elizabeth Olson writes that the estate of bankrupt Heller Ehrman LLP “brought suit against 49 law firms to recover millions of dollars it said were owed from legal work that the firm’s former partners had taken with them to their next legal workplace. But this ruling appears to let the law firms off the hook.”

Read the Bloomberg article.



Biglaw Firm Could Pay $1.4 Million After Malpractice Verdict

A jury in a legal malpractice case has found Alston & Bird 32 percent responsible for a former company manager’s theft from a client, according to a report at Above the Law.

Kathryn Rubino writes, “Their (now former) client, family-held Hatcher Management Holdings LLC, took a loss after former manager, Maury Hatcher, cashed out of the business, allegedly at an inflated price in addition to hundreds of thousands of dollars in self-dealing fees. Hatcher Management Holdings alleged Alston & Bird partners assisted the departed Maury Hatcher from providing company members access to financial records and documents after he left the company.”

The Atlanta jury also awarded up to $1.1 million in fees and expenses, which the law firm could be required to cover in full, according to the report.

Read the Above the Law article.




Indemnification Clauses and Defining the Relationship

An attorney client-relationship can arise from something far less definite than an explicit agreement between the attorney and his or her client, warns Robert J. Glowacki Jr. in a post for Poyner Spruill LLP.

He explains:

“In the recently decided Friday Invs., LLC v. Bally Total Fitness of the Mid-Atl., Inc., the North Carolina Supreme Court found the existence of an attorney-client relationship under circumstances where neither party explicitly discussed legal representation. There, the central question was whether an attorney-client relationship exists between a defendant to a lawsuit and a non-party that contractually agreed to indemnify that defendant and, if so, whether correspondence between the two is protected by the attorney-client privilege.”

Read the article.



How Solid Are Your Harassment Training Programs?

Employers are finding that generic harassment policies with one-size-fits-all instructional videos are not addressing key issues, says Audrey Mross, employment partner at Munck Wilson Mandala.

She and her firm offer a training session for managers and supervisors as well as an employee version of the training.

“Using actual examples helps attendees begin to understand where the line is between acceptable and unacceptable behavior,” she says. “I’ve found that this is what triggers an ‘aha’ moment for many, and often individuals will speak up and share their own experiences with their peers in the training session.”

Read the article.



Memo to Law Firms: Raise Cybersecurity Bar or Risk Client Losses

Data- privacy - lock - cyber- securityLaw firms may not be the safe repository of client confidences—such as trade secrets and merger plans—that they once were, as hackers recognize firms as prized vaults of proprietary corporate data, warns Bloomberg Law. And clients are starting to view law firm data breaches as serious business considerations.

Daniel R. Stoller talked with Christopher Dore, privacy partner at plaintiff-side firm Edelson PC in Chicago, who told him that “if hackers want to get data from Alphabet Inc.’s Google, the best path may be through a law firm rather than directly from the company, because the law practice likely has an almost ‘unlimited variety of data.'”

And Lucian T. Pera, legal ethics partner at Adam and Reese LLP in Memphis, Tenn. and former treasurer of the American Bar Association, told Stoller: “Cybersecurity protections are becoming a serious factor in client decision-making,” at law firms, and large firms stand to lose business if they don’t take care of cybersecurity.

Read the Bloomberg article.




How Blockchain Technology Is Transforming the Legal Industry

Blockchain technology is now being used to build tools and infrastructure that help lawyers draft contracts, record commercial transactions, and verify legal documents, reports Jasmine Ye Han in an article for Bloomberg Law.

She writes about the increased efficiency and uniformity blockchain can provide in contracting, its used in other legal documents, the skills and role of lawyers in blockchain, and the challenges ahead for the technology.

Read the article.



BigLaw Business Development Secrets for Small Firms

Deborah Grabein, Director of Business Development at Andrews Kurth Kenyon, shared some BigLaw secrets for lawyers at small firms and solo shops in a question-and-answer format with Amy Boardman Hunt of Muse Communications.

“Business development is about cultivating and maintaining relationships, a process, and a plan,” Grabein said in the interview. “And then it’s executing, tracking and measuring results. Plans change based on industry and market changes, and at the end of the day, nothing happens unless you execute and follow up.”

She offers some detailed advice on making relationships work and discusses some approaches to help develop new business.

Read the article.





Under Pressure, Akin Gump Gives First-Year Associates a Bonus

When Akin Gump first-year associates found out they wouldn’t be getting bonuses about two months ago, they weren’t happy. But now  the firm has responded to pressure by announcing prorated bonuses to their first-years, according to Above the Law.

“Just goes to show, if you’re unhappy about something at your firm, perhaps some pointed criticism is the way to go,” suggests Kathryn Rubino, an editor at Above the Law.

An earlier article pointed out that Akin Gump grosses $980 million a year, with profits per partner of $2,100,000.

Read the Above the Law article.