• Some 35 percent of law firm leaders think they could be able to replace first-year associates with law-focused computer technology  in the next five to 10 years, according to a recent survey. (The American Lawyer)

Billing rates surged at the country’s 50 biggest law firms to a median hourly rate of $711, in the 12-month period that ended June 30, up from $675 the previous year, according to a recent report. (Business of Law Blog)

• Los Angeles-based Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and Seattle’s Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro Friday filed federal class actions against Volkswagen A.G. in Los Angeles   on behalf of South Korean consumers,the first such case against an auto manufacturer in the United States. (National Law Journal)

• The top 100 largest UK law firms saw revenue rise 2.04 percent in 2014/2015 compared with the previous year, but their international performance has been lackluster,according to recent data. (The Lawyer)

 

Legal Market

• In New York state appeals court Friday, lawyers for DLA Piper, Milberg; Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman denied the firms did anything illegal in their representation of alleged fraudster Paul Ceglia’s failed breach of contract lawsuit against Facebook Inc. The social media giant accuses the firms and several lawyers working for them of malicious prosecution, as well as attorney deceit. (The American Lawyer)

• The Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday reported filing a record 807 enforcement actions and collecting $4.19 billion but an Emory University professor has said the agency inflates its numbers in several ways. (Big Law Business)

• Eight law firms are among Hillary Clinton’s top donors : Florida personal injury firm Morgan & Morgan and big law firms DLA Piper, Sullivan & Cromwell, Akin Gump, Latham & Watkins, Munger Tolles & Olson, Steptoe & Johnson and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. (Above the Law / Center For Responsive Politics)

• The mistrial outcome in the Dewey & LeBoeuf fraud trial, and some other recent failures of federal white collar prosecutions, suggest that most financial crime has evolved to such a level of complexity that it’s beyond the reach of the law.(Bloomberg News)

 

Laterals and Moves

• Kirkland & Ellis has expanded its restructuring team in Hong Kong with its third hire of a partner there in the last year, acquiring litigation specialist Kelley Naphtali, who leaves Lipman Karas and has also practiced at White & Case and Hogan Lovells. (The Lawyer)

• Hedge fund Stone Ridge Asset Management said it has hired Davis Polk & Wardwell corporate partner James Rothwell, a capital markets and equity derivatives expert, to head its legal department; Gillian Moldowan, whom Davis Polk promoted to counsel in July, has left the firm to become special counsel in Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft’s executive compensation and corporate governance group in New York. And other lateral moves at Baker& Hostetler; Hogan Lovells; Norton Rose Fulbright and elsewhere. (The American Lawyer)

 

Technology

• Kirkland & Ellis Chief Information Officer Dan Nottke says the firm’s cybersecurity effort focuses of basic rules like tight control on user access through strong passwords but also testing the system for vulnerabilities, such as through internal “phishing” attacks on staff  to see how they react. (Big Law Business)

• Lawsuits filed by Chicago law firm Edelson against the makers of the multiplayer Game of War: Fire Age and Castle Clash as well as operators of so-called social casino games, argue that virtual losses from  gambling with “play money” in the games can have real world consequences. (The Recorder)

• A recent survey by Kroll Ontrack finds that organizations face significant compliance and regulatory risks linked to large volumes of data they still store on archive tapes. (LegalTech news)

 

Legal Education

• An editorial urges federal government action to require accountability from law schools that live off student loans, both non-profit and for-profit law schools. (New York Times)

 

Miscellaneous

•  Greenberg Traurig CEO Richard Rosenbaum talks about what he calls the firm’s origins in Miami in 1967 to its expansion to New York and Washington, initially focusing on its real estate expertise, to its growth to become one of the top 15 grossing U.S. law firms. (Big Law Business)

• Effective regulation of daily fantasy sports should be part of comprehensive federal legislation that addresses all forms of gambling on professional and amateur sporting events, argues an adjunct sports law professor at the University at Buffalo Law School who has advised the National Hockey League.  (Big Law Business)

• Volkswagen AG has suspended some 10 senior executives as part of its internal investigation, managed by law firm Jones Day, into the global scandal over emissions test cheating  linked to the automaker’s so-called clean diesel engines. (Financial Times)

•  Diversity in law: Big Law Business plans two half-day events this fall bringing together leaders of large law firms and in-house legal departments to discuss challenges in promoting and retaining diverse talent. (Big Law Business)