• Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has hired the lawyer who spearheaded Volkswagen’s $14.7 billion settlement of its U.S. emissions cheating scandal. Sullivan & Cromwell’s Robert Giuffra Jr. will defend claims that Fiat used similar technical ruses to cheat U.S. emission regulations. ( American Lawyer )

• Michael Jordan scores again. China’s top court revoked the rights of local sportswear-maker Qiaodan Sports Co. to use the Hall-of-Fame basketball player’s last name written in Chinese characters, handing His Airness a partial victory in his four-year campaign to win legal protection for his name. ( Bloomberg )

• The struggling European branch of King & Wood Mallesons is said to be headed for pre-arranged bankruptcy selloff under U.K. law, with an announcement coming as soon as next week. ( American Lawyer ) Meanwhile, U.K. bank Barclays is reported to have filed for additional security over KWM’s assets. ( The Lawyer )

• Congress and the patent community will be watching Friday to see if the U.S. Supreme Court grants TC Heartland LLC’s request to stop patent owners from “forum shopping” — the practice of handpicking courts to hear cases. ( Bloomberg BNA via BLB )

• Lawyers will make more money if they work together, but only if they do it the right way, argues Harvard Law School researcher and lecturer Heidi Gardner in her forthcoming book, “Smart Collaboration,” due out Jan. 3. In a recent interview with BLB, Gardner, a former McKinsey consultant, talked about what smart collaboration means for lawyers, about research for the book and what she learned from some of the country’s top lawyers along the way. ( BLB )

• In the most recent Big Law Business podcast, Brian Stolarz discusses his book recounting his time as a K&L Gates lawyer, where he helped save a man on death row with a pro bono effort but still did not make partner. ( BLB )

 

 

Legal Market

• Facing a skeptical Senate panel Wednesday, the CEOs of AT&T Inc. and Time Warner Inc. defended their proposed $85.4 billion merger, contending that the deal would boost competition in the media industry and be good for consumers. ( National Law Journal )

• Mark Cuban, investor, reality TV star and owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, told the panel the deal would create a combined company better able to take on relatively new giants like Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon. ( recode.net )

• JPMorgan Chase & Co., HSBC Holdings Plc and Credit Agricole SA. just got hit for a total of $521 million in fines by European Union antitrust regulators closing a five-year investigation of Euribor benchmark rigging. ( Bloomberg )

• Some mortgage bond traders tangled up in investigations are moving into the shadow banking system. “In the banking industry, if you have had a regulatory issue, you are living with a scarlet letter,” said Seth Taube, a partner at law firm Baker Botts and a former SEC prosecutor. ( Bloomberg )

• The long-running U.S. investigation into Standard Chartered Plc’s violations of sanctions laws — which appeared settled in 2012 only to be reopened two years later — is inching toward the finish line. ( Bloomberg )

• U.K. firms Clifford Chance, CMS Cameron McKenna and Linklaters have nabbed significant roles advising on a consortium’s $17.5 billion acquisition of a big stake in the gas business of U.K. energy provider National Grid. ( The Lawyer )

• U.K. authorities fined Pfizer Inc. and Flynn Pharma Ltd. a record amount for abusing their dominant position in the country with a 2600 percent price increase on certain drugs. ( Bloomberg )

• A Southern California power plant that filed for bankruptcy Tuesday in Delaware owes hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to major law firms. ( American Lawyer )

• The best ideas for achieving gender parity are “simple,” says Weil Gotshal & Manges partner Anne Cappella, Silicon Valley office leader of Women@Weil. BLB recently talked to Capella, who was among 54 lawyers participating in last summer’s Women in Law Hackathon, organized by Diversity Lab to develop ideas to increase gender parity in Big Law. ( BLB )

 

The Transition to a Trump presidency

• Time Magazine named as its Person of Year, Donald Trump, “President of the divided states of America.”  "It’s hard to argue that anyone had more influence than Donald Trump over the events of this year,” said Nancy Gibbs, Time editor-in-chief. ( Time )

• Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt — who sued the Environmental Protection Agency to overturn some of President Barack Obama’s signature climate initiatives — is Trump’s pick to lead the agency. The selection of a staunch oil industry ally to lead the EPA prompted vows to battle the nomination. ( Bloomberg )

• Trump could have a big effect on companies’ ability to hire foreign workers. His pick for attorney general, Jeff Sessions, has proposed changing the H1-B program used to hire foreign workers, while his reported pick to head the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, retired four-star Marine General John Kelly, will be responsible for enforcing any changes in immigration laws. ( Corporate Counsel )

• Trump promised to drive down the cost of medicines, defying investors who saw a boon in his election last month and injecting himself again into a contentious economic debate. ( Bloomberg )

• A complex health care bill approved yesterday by the Senate and supported by the Obama administration would change the way new prescription drugs are approved, in a way that could endanger patients. ( Bloomberg View )

• The American presidential vote recounts, though unlikely to change the election outcome, are useful to calm voter fears of a rigged electoral process and voter fraud and to lay to rest suspicions that Russia may have hacked voting machines and systems. ( Economist )

• After a federal judge Wednesday halted the presidential vote recount in Michigan, supporters of the effort vowed to appeal. ( Detroit Free Press )

 

 

Happening in SCOTUS and Other Courts

• Matt Larson, a litigation analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence, and Michael Risch, a professor at Villanova University Law School, discuss a Supreme Court decision on the ongoing feud between Apple and Samsung. ( Bloomberg Radio )

• Twenty one contenders. One spot. The most likely candidates to take the title of next Justice of the Supreme Court are narrowed down by Bloomberg BNA’s Kimberly Robinson and Patrick Gregory. This is part one of a two-part video series. ( Bloomberg BNA via BLB )

• West Coast Asian-American rock band The Slants released a song to publicize its U.S. Supreme Court fight with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office over its name, which refuses to trademark the name on the grounds that it’s disparaging. The group, which argues the case raises civil rights and First Amendment issues, has also a launched related crowdfunding campaign. The case starts starts Jan. 18.( National Law Journal ) ( Generosity.com )

 

Brexit

• U.K. Supreme Court judges questioned some of the legal theories behind a challenge to the U.K. government’s Brexit plans, saying it’s possible that Parliament gave the final say on leaving the European Union to the British people by agreeing to hold a referendum. ( Bloomberg )

• Meanwhile, Parliament was to hold a non-binding vote on triggering Article 50 by the end of next March. ( Bloomberg )

 

Laterals and Moves

• British American Tobacco has reportedly hired Slaughter and May for its investigation into allegations of bribery and corruption, and dumped Linklaters from the job. ( The Lawyer )

• Labor and employment firm Jackson Lewis has absorbed Cincinnati firm Denlinger, Rosenthal & Greenberg, getting its office and adding seven lawyers to its existing 15-attorney roster in the city. ( American Lawyer )

• Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has picked up Mark Hastings, Addleshaw Goddard’s head of civil fraud and litigation. ( The Lawyer )

 

Technology

• Airbnb has always operated under a cloud of legal uncertainty as it battled city governments over how to regulate its network of short-term rental properties. But in the last week the company has dialed down the volume with a series of moves and a report, in a bid to stabilize its regulatory horizon. ( Bloomberg via BLB )

• Corporate legal departments and law firms can use analytics and technology to shift their organizations toward more diverse talent pools, officials from Goodwin Proctor and Walmart Inc. said at a recent panel. ( Legaltech News )

• Russian hackers and the people who hunt them: video interview with criminologists Ilya Sachkov, whose company, Group-IB, specializes in studying the ways of the Russian hacker. ( Bloomberg )

• The “intel on this wasn’t 100 percent,” said the man who fired a rifle in a Washington, D.C. pizza restaurant that fake news stories and rumors have accused of running a child slavery sex ring. ( New York Times )

• Facebook has applied for a patent for a tool that could help automate removal of fake news from the social media network. ( recode.net )

 

 

Miscellaneous

• A longtime Fox Rothschild partner who practiced law for 80 years died Monday at the age of 104. ( Legal Intelligencer )

• The converted warehouse that was the scene of last week’s deadly fire Oakland had not been examined on the inside by a building code enforcement inspector in over 30 years. ( NBC News )

• An American man who teaches English at a language school in Siberia is organizing a statewide referendum for California to secede from the United States, to be held in 2019 if he can collect half a million signatures by next fall. ( Bloomberg Businessweek )

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Casey Sullivan.