Wake Up Call: Big Banks Want Their Law Firms to Increase Diversity of Counsel

Photographer: Ron Antonelli/Bloomberg

• Big Law law firms including Sullivan & Cromwell, McGuire Woods, and Hogan Lovells are hearing from bank clients like JPMorgan Chase, SunTrust, and PNC that they want their outside law firms to get more women and minority lawyers to represent them in their cases. (American Banker)

• After Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted yesterday that he might take the electric car company private, securities lawyers said that if the tweet turns out to be false, Musk and the company could face a regulatory and legal backlash. (Bloomberg) (CNBC)

• American billionaire and L.A. Rams owner Stan Kroenke agreed to buy Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov’s 30 percent stake in one of the U.K.’s top soccer teams, Arsenal FC, in a 602.4-million-pound ($781.1 million) deal. Three big U.K. firms, Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and Slaughter and May played leading roles in the deal, which gives Kroenke full control of the team and ends a dispute between the tycoons. (Bloomberg) (American Lawyer)

• In a setback for Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft just before trial, a Manhattan judge rejected the firm’s bid to present expert witnesses to defend itself against a legal $22 million malpractice claim brought by Red Zone, an investment vehicle run by Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder. Cadwalader is represented by Cravath. (New York Law Journal)

• The American Arbitration Association introduced alternative fee arrangements it said will allow in-house lawyers to control spending on arbitrators, like they’re already doing for outside counsel. (Corporate Counsel)

• At their current pace, 2018 IPOs are on target to raise over $75 billion, far exceeding the $52.22 billion raised in 2017. (Bloomberg Law)

• Fiat Chrysler’s U.S. arm and its lawyers from Littler and Miller Canfield Paddock & Stone couldn’t sidestep a claim in Michigan federal court that the automaker’s job review process discriminates against employees 55 and older. (Bloomberg Law)

• Lawyers for Paul Manafort, the former Donald Trump campaign chairman, attacked the government’s star witness Rick Gates yesterday, in their client’s trial on tax fraud and other charges. (Financial Times)

 

Lawyers and Law Firms

• A federal court ruled yesterday that a woman whose teenage son was killed on Mexican soil by a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Arizona can sue for damages. Morrison & Foerster is co-counsel on the case with the American Civil Liberties Union, representing the mother. (Bloomberg Law) (MoFo)

• Sidley Austin said it represented private equity firm Quantum Energy Partners, which recently announced that it raised nearly $5.6 billion for a new fund. (Wall Street Journal)

• Haynes and Boone said partner Ian T. Peck led a team of lawyers representing women’s apparel retailer A’GACI, L.L.C. in a reorganization that allowed the company to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy less than seven months after entering it. (Chron.com)

 

Laterals, Moves

• Holland & Knight said real estate attorney Lee Samuelson joined the firm as a partner in its New York office. Samuelson, who advises clients in complex real estate transactions, including structuring and negotiating of joint venture agreements, was a partner at Hogan Lovells in New York. (Hklaw.com)

• Buchalter added two shareholders in Los Angeles: Peter Hogan, previously at boutique Clark & Trevithick, joins in the firm’s corporate practice group, while former Sedgwick partner Dennis Raglin joins in the litigation practice group. (Buchalter.com)

• DLA Piper continued its Latin America hiring, adding Xavier Mangino to the firm’s corporate practice as a partner in Mexico City. He comes from Diaz de Rivera & Mangino, SC, where he served as managing partner. (DLAPiper)

• White & Case added two litigators in London: international arbitration partner David Robertson from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner and commercial litigation partner Steven Baker, from Cadwalader. (The Lawyer)

 

Legal Actions

• New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. faces long odds in a new lawsuit that accuses a self-described “Hollywood nightlife promoter” and his attorney of extortion, practitioners said. (Bloomberg Law)

 

Technology

• As electric utilities and energy companies face an increasing number of attempted cyber intrusions, they are turning to cybersecurity vendors including PAS and Seimens to help them protect the computers that monitor and control their systems. (Bloomberg Law)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor.