• Baker McKenzie’s partners elected Hong Kong office managing partner Milton Cheng as the firm’s new global partner effective Oct. 17. He takes over from acting global chair Jaime Trujillo, who stepped into that job in October 2018, when former chair Paul Rawlinson took leave for health reasons. Rawlinson died in April this year. Cheng is also chief executive overseeing Baker McKenzie’s offices and businesses across eight countries in the Asia Pacific region. His practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, real estate investment trusts, financial services regulation, corporate finance, and corporate restructurings. (BakerMcKenzie.com)

  • McDermott Will & Emery grabbed eight Drinker Biddle & Reath insurance industry partners in a move the firm said will “dramatically expand the capabilities” of its new insurance transactions and regulation group. The partners are Andrea Best in London; Dan Brown and John Finston in San Francisco; H. Michael Byrne, Thomas Dawson, Michael Halsband, Parimah Hassouri, and John Mulhern in New York. (MWE.com)

  • Jenner & Block has named partners Katya Jestin and Randy Mehrberg as the firm’s next co-managing partners, starting early next year. (BLAW via BLB)

  • LeClairRyan and McGuireWoods lawyers for its primary lender, ABL Alliance LLLP, are set to face a federal judge today as they clash over a motion for the court to appoint a liquidator to handle the defunct law firm’s bankruptcy. ABL Alliance, citing the firm’s dwindling cash and increasing expenses, supports a U.S. trustee motion to move the firm from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7 proceedings. LeClairRyan says that Chapter 11 remains the most efficient way to handle its liquidation. (American Lawyer)

  • In a nutshell, a Chapter 11 bankruptcy gives a firm a chance to reorganize its debt and to try to keep its business alive while it pays its creditors. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the firm has to sell off any un-exempt assets to pay creditors. (UScourts.gov)

  • The founder of a legal tech startup, who as a Big Law associate got fed up with making the same contract markups over and over, thinks his new tool can automate $7 billion worth of contract review. (BLAW via BLB)

  • After of counsel hires in Palo Alto and Atlanta earlier this month, Squire Patton Boggs has announced shifts in its data privacy & cybersecurity practice group that it said anticipate upcoming state data privacy laws, in particular, the California Consumer Privacy Act, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2020. It said Brussels-based deputy co-chair of the group, Rosa Barcelo, a former top official in the European Commission’s cybersecurity and digital privacy unit, moved up to co-chair. Group co-chair Ann LaFrance is moving from the firm’s London office to New York. (SquirePattonBoggs.com)

  • Bill Cosby, serving three to 10 years in Pennsylvania prison for aggravated indecent assault, was ordered to pay Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan more than $2.7 million in a legal fee dispute. (The Recorder)

  • Duke University has to pay class counsel one-third of a $54.5 million settlement resolving claims it conspired with University of North Carolina hospitals not to hire each other’s faculty, a North Carolina court ruled yesterday. Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein and others represented the workers. Womble Bond Dickinson, Covington & Burling, and others represented Duke. (BLAW)

Lawyers, Law Firms, Deals

  • The breakup of entertainment law firm Gray Krauss Sandler Des Rochers is spawning new firms in New York and California. For example, two partners from the dissolving firm announced the launch of Gray Schwartz LLP, a New York-based entertainment law boutique, and an affiliated non-legal consulting arm, GS Consulting. (American Lawyer).

  • Airbnb Inc. hired in-house leader Rich Baer to take over as chief legal officer in October, days after announcing plans for an IPO. Baer, a former Brooklyn homicide prosecutor, most recently served as the CLO and chief administrative officer of Liberty Media Corp., a group of five public companies that own or hold large stakes in several major brands, including TripAdvisor Holdings Inc., Sirius XM Holdings Inc., Charter Communications Inc., and baseball’s Atlanta Braves. (Corporate Counsel)

  • Colorado-based Liberty Media announced in a filing that it hired longtime Baker Botts partner Renee Wilm to replace Baer as its chief legal officer. (Corporate Counsel)

  • Houston energy investment firm Pickering Energy Partners, represented by Willkie Farr & Gallagher, is forming a joint venture with Henry Resources, a family-owned oil and gas operator, to invest about $500 million in acquiring and developing Permian Basin assets. (Houston Chronicle)

  • A Hunton Andrews Kurth team put in over 650 pro bono hours helping the Chickahominy Tribe in its deal to get back 105 acres of tribal land along the James River in Charles City County, Virginia. (HuntonAK.com)

Laterals, Moves, Promotions

  • Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer expanded its Supreme Court and appellate practice, adding a former assistant attorney in the U.S. solicitor general’s office, Allon Kedem, as a Washington-based partner. (BLAW via BLB)

  • Michael Best added two intellectual property lawyers. Former Kraft Foods Group chief trademark counsel Susan Frohling joined as senior counsel in Chicago. Copyright, trademark, and entertainment attorney Laura Lamansky joins as associate in Milwaukee. (MichaelBest.com)

  • Blank Rome added former LeClairRyan government contracts partner John M. Clerici as of counsel in Washington. (BlankRome.com)

  • Seyfarth Shaw added litigation partner Charles “Chuck” Chejfec in Chicago. He arrives from Actuate Law LLC, where he was a founding partner after working six years as a Seyfarth associate earlier in his career. (Seyfarth.com)

Legal Education

  • Boston University law professor Danielle Citron received a $625,000 MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” for her work on cyber-harassment. She says she plans to use some of the money to write a book on sexual privacy, to follow up her 2014 book “Hate Crimes in Cyberspace.” (Law.com)