Wake Up Call: Brexit Pushes Up Pay for Junior Lawyers in London

• Brexit has turned out to be a good deal for some junior lawyers in London. As big U.S. firms Cravath, Kirkland & Ellis and Akin Gump among others acted to make sure their top U.K.-based junior lawyers keep getting the Cravath-scale $180,000 a year, they hiked their pay in the sagging pound. That in turn has pressured elite U.K. firms including Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Linklaters and others to follow suit. (Bloomberg)

• Aretae Wyler, a former Williams & Connolly associate and top lawyer of Atlantic Media, spoke with Big Law Business about perils of the digital age: In a recent hoax, scammers advertised fake job openings at The Atlantic, interviewed prospective candidates and even made offers. The fraud Wyler and her colleagues experienced is just the latest example of how people — and even the nation’s top lawyers — can fall prone to the nefarious antics of digital pranksters. (BLB)

• Texas-based corporate law firms are catching merger fever and the possible tie-up reported last week between Andrews Kurth Kenyon and Virginia-based Hunton & Williams is just the latest example. (Houston Chronicle)

• A team of prominent lawyers from firms including Cooley, Boies Schiller Flexner and Kaplan and Co. is suing white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups in a Virginia federal court on behalf of people who were injured in this summer’s violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. (National Law Journal)

• PwC launched a new service that supplies temporary lawyers for in-house teams during unusual surges in workload. The new service, Flexible Legal Resources, is the latest move into legal services by a Big Four accounting firm. (Am Law Daily)

• Core & Main, a major distributor of water, sewer, storm and fire protection products, said it appointed Mark Whittenburg as its new general counsel and secretary. Whittenburg was previously Shanghai-based VP, legal, for the Asia Pacific region at automotive safety company Autoliv. (Industrial Distribution)

• President Donald Trump’s lawyers might soon offer special counsel Robert Mueller an opportunity to interview the president, with the hope of getting the ex-FBI man’s Russia probe concluded, and off Trump’s back, soon, according to a report. Trump’s personal lawyer, John Dowd, disputed the report. (Politico)

 

 

 

Law Firm Business

• Peter Gray, a former Big Law partner who is suing Gibson Dunn for unfair dismissal linked to his ouster from its Dubai office in 2015, is combining his Dubai-based shop with another firm from the United Arab Emirates. The new 15-lawyer firm, Al Dahbashi Gray, will be based in Dubai and have a London office. (Legal Week)

• Kansas City-based firm Husch Blackwell launched a national institute to give retailers access to expertise on competing in a market increasingly rattled by Amazon.com and other e-commerce companies. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

• Portland, Oregon-based Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt named Mexico-born shareholder Graciela Gomez Cowger as the firm’s first CEO. (Portland Business Journal)

• Morrison & Foerster launched a new, separate website called “ScaleUp” to promote the firm’s startup practice. (Legaltech News)

 

 

Legal Actions

• Opponents of Brexit said they would sue the British government if it fails to release internal reports into the impact of leaving the European Union on different parts of the economy. (Bloomberg)

• Johnson & Johnson says a $417 million verdict in a talc powder cancer case should be thrown out because three jurors were excluded by fellow panelists from the decision-making process. (Bloomberg via BLB)

• The IRS said it temporarily suspended a $7.2 million contract it recently signed with Equifax Inc. to help check out taxpayer identity. (CNET) A key Republican lawmaker asked federal bank watchdogs whether they have or need authority to help ensure credit-reporting companies adequately protect consumers’ information from data breaches like the huge one that recently hit Equifax. (Bloomberg)

 

 

Regulators and Enforcement

• Police in London and New York said they are investigating sexual assault accusations against the fallen movie producer Harvey Weinstein. (New York Times)

•  U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, a self-declared defender of First Amendment rights, did not comment a day after Trump threatened to use the FCC to revoke broadcast licenses. (Bloomberg)

 

 

The Trump Administration

• Trump’s administration took its most drastic step yet to roll back the Affordable Care Act, cutting off a subsidy to insurers just hours after issuing an executive order designed to draw people away from the health law’s coverage markets. (Bloomberg)

• Trump’s tweet questioning the legitimacy of the tax credits received by the National Football League had tax analysts scrambling to determine the potential hit for state and federal tax regimes. (Bloomberg BNA)

 

 

Happening in SCOTUS and Other Courts

• The century-old “blue slip” custom that allows senators to block judicial nominees who would have jurisdiction over their states is “wildly undemocratic” and should be abolished, writes constitutional scholar Noah Feldman. (Bloomberg View)

 

 

Laterals, Moves, Law Firm Work

• Crowell & Moring continued its lateral hiring spree in California by adding Arent Fox litigation partners Arthur Beeman and Joel Muchmore in San Francisco. (The Recorder)

• Two top Washington, D.C., lawyers recently took extended time off from their firms, but sabbaticals aren’t common at most corporate defense firms. (National Law Journal)

• Brown Rudnick poached Edward Davis, the co-chairman of Mayer Brown’s financial institutions mergers and acquisitions group in New York, for its corporate and capital markets practice in the city. (New York Law Journal)

• The charity Parkinson’s UK is looking to hire its first general counsel and company secretary, as part of its plans to grow. (The Lawyer)

• The NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers promoted Jason Hillman, formerly the team’s senior vice president and general counsel, to basketball chief of staff and team counsel. (Cleveland Jewish News)

 

 

Technology

• Technology is only one of the tools law firms will need as they work to meet demands for more efficient and cost-effective legal services, which companies like Microsoft and GlaxoSmithKline have been expressing recently, speakers at recent event in New York said. (Am Law Daily)

• Belgium’s data privacy watchdog sought a court order forcing Facebook to stop its “systematic monitoring” of internet users, on pain of a 250,000 euro ($296,000) daily penalty if the company doesn’t comply. (Bloomberg)

• A U.K. company CEO’s edits of a controversial Wikipedia page are being adduced in a trademark dispute that has produced, among other things, a probe into possible conflict of interest by an employee of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. (Above the Law)

 

 

Legal Education

• Shon Hopwood is today a law professor at Georgetown University Law Center, but he spent years in prison for bank robbery before getting his law degree in Washington state. He will be featured on CBS’ “60 Minutes” on Sunday Oct. 15. (National Law Journal)

• New York City’s Law Department hired 53 recent law school graduates and two post-graduate volunteer lawyers. (New York Law Journal)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Casey Sullivan.

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