In today’s column, Amazon’s MoFo and Gibson Dunn lawyers won a surprise federal block on the Pentagon’s $10 billion cloud computing contract award to Microsoft; Skadden Arps client McClatchy, owner of dozens of newspapers including the Miami Herald, could be sold to a hedge fund manager that owns the National Enquirer; and Perkins Coie opened an office in Texas.

  • Leading off, Covington & Burling said a solid overall performance of its practices, plus a ripening of some of its longer term investments, pushed gross revenues up 6.3% in 2019, to $1.187 billion, roughly double their level a decade ago. The firm’s average profits per equity partner rose 3.9%, to $1.8 million, even though its equity partnership increased. (American Lawyer)

  • Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld followed Cooley in announcing 10-straight years of revenue growth. Texas-founded Akin Gump said its gross revenues gained 5.9% to $1.14 billion in 2019, with strong performances in litigation, financial restructuring, and corporate work, among other areas, and its energy practice linking work across offices. Its average PEP rose 8.2% to $2.6 million, as equity partner count declined 3.2% to 179. (Texas Lawyer)

  • Florida-founded Holland & Knight said its strategy of focusing on U.S. rather than international growth paid off with record gross revenues in 2019, as receipts surged 12.2% to $1.03 billion. The firm’s average PEP increased 10% to $1.57 million, even as it added 24 equity partners. It said 94% of its 1,212 lawyers are in the U.S. (American Lawyer)

  • Amazon.com Inc.'s Morrison & Foerster and Gibson Dunn lawyers got a federal judge to temporarily block Microsoft Corp. from working on a $10 billion Pentagon cloud-computing contract. The e-commerce giant is challenging the validity of the award to its rival, alleging that President Donald Trump interfered. (BN via BLAW) Microsoft is represented by Latham & Watkins and others, in the case. (National Law Journal)

  • Skadden Arps client McClatchy, the bankrupt owner of the Miami Herald and dozens of other U.S. newspapers, has agreed to be sold to New Jersey-based hedge fund manager Chatham Asset Management, which is advised by Paul Weiss and others, and among other things owns the National Enquirer, according to reports. (Bloomberg News via BLAW) (American Lawyer) (WaPo) (PR Newswire) (NJ.com)

  • Dentons Bingham Greenebaum, the regional firm that legal giant Dentons created last year in a merger, filed a motion in federal bankruptcy court asking to be released from representing hospital group Americore Holdings LLC, citing “irreconcilable differences” in its Chapter 11 case. (Ellwood City Ledger) Meanwhile, Americore’ CEO is under civil and criminal investigation, according to reports. (Associated Press via NYT)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Seattle-based Perkins Coie opened an office in Austin, Texas, from which it plans to advise tech clients on their operations in the state. (BLAW)

  • Orrick hired energy-sector trial, appellate, and arbitration lawyer Christina Maccio from DLA Piper in Houston (Orrick.com)

  • Attorney General William Barr said President Trump’s tweets and public comments about the Justice Department and its cases make his job “impossible.” (BN)

  • A Boies Schiller Flexner lawyer representing Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, the former National Security Council official who testified in House impeachment proceedings, said Trump’s attacks on his client are meant to “intimidate and punish.” (Daily Beast)

  • After Trump this week dropped Jessie K. Liu as his nomination for a top Treasury post, Liu, a former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, has left the department, reports said. (CNN)

Deals

  • Several Big Law firms advised in asset management firm ArrowMark Partners’ acquisition of StoneCastle Asset Management’s bank investment platform and assets, for undisclosed terms. Dechert advised StoneCastle Asset Management and its parent. Schulte Roth & Zabel advised ArrowMark, while Pepper Hamilton and Shearman & Sterling also advised in the transaction, according to a press release. (PEHub.com)

Laterals, Moves

  • Silicon Valley-based Fenwick & West named attorney Neha Shah Nissen as its first chief talent officer. She previously spent over 16 years at Bingham McCutchen, including as a partner and firm-wide director of practice management. (BLAW)

  • Manatt, Phelps & Phillips said a former top New York health insurance official, Troy Oechsner, joined the firm’s health care group as a partner in its Albany office. (Manatt.com)

  • K&L Gates added corporate/franchise lawyer Jason M. Murray as a partner in Miami. He arrives from Gunster, where he was a shareholder and leader of the franchise and distribution practice. (KLGates.com)

  • Blank Rome hired corporate and securities associate Simon Bord in Washington. He arrives from from Dilworth Paxson. (BlankRome.com)

Legal Actions, Decisions

  • New York-based Holwell Shuster & Goldberg filed an amicus brief on behalf of Muslim Advocates in a case scheduled for U.S. Supreme Court arguments March 24. In the case, Muslim men claim they were wrongfully placed on the U.S. no-fly list for refusing to act as government informants. (HSGLLP.com)

  • A state appeals court affirmed $5 million in damages and attorneys’ fees to a former San Francisco deputy city attorney who was fired after investigating city payments to plumbing companies. (SFChronicle.com)

  • Lawyers for both sides in the civil lawsuit by Sandy Hook Elementary shooting victims’ families against gunmaker Remington will get access to the shooter’s computer to search for records that could affect the case. (Hartford Courant)

  • A Miami attorney was arrested on bribery charges for allegedly offering to help a woman in her criminal case in exchange for sex. (Daily Business Review)

Technology

  • Legal tech company Knowable launched a contract analysis platform. (Legaltech News)

Legal Education

  • A March 4 American Bar Association continuing legal education event online will consider what professionals need to know about how the impending end of the benchmark London Interbank Offered Rate, known as Libor, will affect lenders and borrowers. (AmericanBar.org)

  • At the South by Southwest Conference in Austin, Texas, in March, Fortis Law trial lawyer Henry Baskerville will give advice on avoiding bad business breakups. (SXSW.com)