• Cravath yesterday kicked off the end-of-the-year bonus season for associates a week early, announcing it will keep the scale it has used in recent years. Paul Weiss quickly matched the scale, which ranges from first-year associates getting $15,000 to class-of-2010 senior associates getting $100,000, and other elite firms are sure to follow. The bonuses, to be paid Dec. 14, are on top of big associate salary increases earlier this year, in which Cravath matched salaries set by Milbank for its junior associates and bumped up salaries for midlevel and senior associates. (Above The Law) (New York Law Journal)

  • Baker McKenzie is the firm best placed to cash in on a rise in legal spending in Europe, as the continent contends with uncertainties linked to Brexit, the Trump trade war, and other global economic challenges, according to Acritas’ inaugural brand index for mainland Europe. The survey, based on interviews with hundreds of senior legal buyers, finds 34 percent of legal departments across Europe plan to spend more on legal services over the next 12 months. Linklaters, Freshfields Bruckhuas Deringer, DLA Piper, and Clifford Chance round out the index’s top five strongest brands, as global firms with significant presence in and outside of Europe beat out more “Euro-centric” firms. (Acritas)

  • Clifford Chance’s Amsterdam office managing partner Jeroen Ouwehand won election as the London elite firm’s new senior partner, beating out Paris managing partner Yves Wehrli, The Lawyer reported. Malcolm Sweeting is stepping down after eight years as head of the firm. (The Lawyer)

  • Texas district attorney Mark Gonzalez’s heavily inked chest features a big “Not Guilty” tattoo that celebrates his victories as a defense attorney. Once a defendant in a DUI case, now top prosecutor of Nueces County, Gonzalez represents a new breed of prosecutors for whom a focus on a “holistic approach” outweighs conviction rates and long sentences. (Washington Post)

  • King & Spalding added four former senior attorneys from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Department of Enforcement as partners in its government matters practice in New York. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

  • Debevoise & Plimpton launched a feedback program for associates across its U.S. offices, aimed at helping them become better attorneys. (American Lawyer)

  • Corporations face fewer lawsuits but more regulatory red tape as they contend with growing cyber risks, data protection, and tax issues, a Norton Rose Fulbright litigation trends survey shows. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

Lawyers, Law Firms, Laterals

  • Canadian cannabis company Wayland Group hired its first general counsel, Matthew McLeod, a former corporate lawyer and in-house counsel in the tech industry. (Corporate Counsel)

  • Greenspoon Marder said it is partnering with the nonprofit Miami Music Project, and design and architecture studio KoDA on an art project that will use sound, shapes, and light to illustrate the Miami community’s progress toward “empowerment and inclusion.” (GMLaw.com)

  • Cozen O’Connor said veteran hospitality sector real estate attorney Thea Parent joined its real estate practice group as counsel in Philadelphia. She was most recently corporate counsel and managing counsel at Hersha Hospitality Trust and Hersha Hospitality Management, a real estate investment trust (REIT) and hotel management company that owns and operates hotels throughout the United States. (Cozen.com)

  • Reed Smith said Bracewell lateral finance counsel J. Eric Holland joined the firm as a partner in its finance practice in Houston, where he’ll play a key role in expanding Reed Smith’s lending and energy-finance capabilities. (ReedSmith.com)

  • DLA Piper said Goodwin life sciences and IP attorney Christine Walchuk joined the firm’s corporate practice as a partner in Northern Virginia. (DLAPiper.com)

Legal Actions

  • The Securities and Exchange Commission announced its first civil penalties against two cryptocurrency companies that didn’t register their initial coin offerings as securities. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

Technology

  • O’Melveny & Myers plans to test a game-based platform to assess law school candidates for jobs. The platform, developed by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology neuroscientists, is already being used by companies such as Unilever, Accenture and LinkedIn. (American Lawyer)

  • A legal tech startup founded by Fox Rothschild lawyers is hooking up with blockchain developer Dragonchain to create cloud-based legal workflow and document management products. (Legaltech News)

Legal Education

  • A Florida State University law student who reportedly used a vacuum cleaner and broom to fight off the Tallahassee yoga studio shooter earlier this month is set get a financial award of at least $30,000 for school expenses. (ABA Journal)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Molly Ward.