Wake Up Call: Crypto-coin Co. Hires Ex-SEC Chief to Fight Fraud Suit

Photo by Pete Marovich/Bloomberg

• Cybercurrency company Ripple Labs hired former SEC chair Mary Jo White and her ex-enforcement chief at the agency, Andrew Ceresney, both now partners at Debevoise, to advise the company alongside Skadden in a private investor suit that alleges Ripple’s XRP tokens are unregistered securities. (The Recorder)

• Milbank said it will boost associate pay by $10,000 for lawyers in their first three years, and by $15,000 thereafter. The move, which pushes the salary for starting associates to $190,000, up from the $180,000 bar that Cravath set in 2016, is to better compete in the market for talent, said Scott A. Edelman, Milbank’s chair. (Bloomberg Law via BLB The move surprised “everybody,” not least because New York-based Milbank, not Cravath, led the way. But will it spur a new wave of Big Law salary wars? (Above the Law)

• One report says other firms will likely match Milbank’s move but maybe not as many as followed Cravath’s raise in 2016. (New York Law Journal)  

• The U.S. Supreme Court threw out a discrimination finding against a Colorado baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, but the narrow ruling leaves constitutional questions about the dueling rights of gay people and business owners. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

• Former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and FBI lawyer Lisa Osofsky was named as the new boss of the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

• The nonprofit Consumer Reports has a new general counsel: veteran inhouse lawyer Michael Hubner, who has over two decades’ experience as top lawyer for various media and communications companies, most recently as GC and corporate secretary of ION Media Networks. (Business Insider)

• Nearly $4 million in fees are at stake in Sheppard Mullin’s fight with a big client in California Supreme Court over the firm’s  advance conflict waivers in its client engagement letters. (Bloomberg Law via BLB

• M&A lawyer Stephen Fraidin said he’s leaving Pershing Square Capital Management, where he has been vice chairman since 2015, to join Cadwalader as a partner in New York. The former Fried Frank and Kirkland & Ellis partner said he plans to get back to focusing on M&A law and corporate governance. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

• Steven Brill, the journalist who founded The American Lawyer and Court TV, has a new book, Tailspin, that among other things contends that lawyers have contributed to what he calls America’s current polarization and paralysis. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

 

 

 Lawyers, Law Firms, Laterals

• The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against an Atlanta law firm in its seven-year fight to recover $104,000 in legal fees from a bankrupt client. The firm was represented by Latham & Watkins, while the client was represented by Mayer Brown. (National Law Journal)

  • Appellate advocate Allyson N. Ho joined Gibson Dunn’s Dallas office, where she will lead the firm’s appellate practice group from Texas. She comes from Morgan Lewis’ Dallas office, where she co-chaired the firm’s appellate practice group. Her husband, James Ho, is a Trump-appointed federal judge and a former Gibson Dunn appellate partner. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

• Morgan Lewis said veteran M&A lawyer Jeff Dinerstein joined the firm’s Houston office as a partner. According to his Linkedin page, he was most recently a Houston-based partner at Jones Day, where he advised on a wide range of M&A transactions. (MorganLewis.com)

• Swiss biotech company Enzyvant said it hired its first general counsel, veteran inhouse lawyer Tamara Joseph, who has worked for biotech companies worldwide. Most recently she was SVP, GC and chief compliance officer at medical device company InVivo Therapeutics Holdings Corp., in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she will continue to be based for Enzyvant. (Corporate Counsel)

• Kansas City-based Polsinelli hired four data breach lawyers from Vedder Price, including shareholders Bruce Radke and Michael Waters, who will lead its privacy and cybersecurity practice from its Chicago office. The group also includes Chicago-based associate Martin McElligott and New York-based shareholder John Cleary. (American Lawyer)

 

Legal Actions

• A Walmart store in Washington allegedly discriminated against two deaf employees by failing to provide them with American Sign Language interpreters and other accommodations,  says the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which has previously sued McDonald’s, the Cheesecake Factory, and FedEx Ground Package System on similar grounds. (Bloomberg Law)

 • French bank group Societe Generale SA will pay about $1.3 billion to resolve a probe into the bribery of Libyan officials and settle a U.S. investigation into interest-rate manipulation. (Bloomberg via BLB)

 

Technology

 • Facebook Inc. is disputing a New York Times report about how it shares data with device makers from Apple and Amazon to Samsung. But U.S. lawmakers were skeptical and demanded more accountability for Facebook’s frequent privacy lapses. (Bloomberg via BLB)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor.