Wake Up Call: Fox Says GC Zweifach Heading Back to Williams & Connolly

Attorneys Gerson Zweifach, left, and Brendan Sullivan, center, stand with their client Richard Grasso, right, outside court in New York, Wednesday, July 26, 2006.

• 21st Century Fox Inc. general counsel Gerson Zweifach will return to Williams & Connolly once the media company closes its $71 billion asset sale to Walt Disney Co. in the first half of 2019, Fox said. Zweifach, who spent 30 years at Williams & Connolly as a litigator in high profile cases, in 2012 joined Fox where he guided billionaire Rupert Murdoch and his family through crises including the British phone-hacking scandal. (Bloomberg)

• Over a dozen former Dickstein Shapiro lawyers are suing Blank Rome, arguing that it characterized the two firms’ 2016 combination as a sale of assets rather than as a merger, as a ruse keep $4 million in capital contributions. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

• Most of Chicago’s biggest law firms saw their headcount shrink or stay flat last year, with Skadden and Hinshaw & Culbertson seeing the biggest drops. On the flip side, Kirkland & Ellis and Mayer Brown were among big firms adding lawyers during the year. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

• The New York City Bar Association said it is withholding a rating of President Trump’s Supreme Court pick, Brett Kavanaugh, “because the public record is incomplete on whether he possesses the personal integrity necessary to serve in that role.” (New York Law Journal)

• Greenberg Traurig hired Mark Hichar, a former chair of the gaming law practice at regional firm Hinckley, Allen & Snyder, as a partner in its Boston office. The hire comes as a recent landmark Supreme Court ruling has spurred gaming and technology companies into the online sports gambling arena. (American Lawyer)

• Abercrombie & Fitch Co. picked former Jones Day lawyer Gregory Henchel to be its new senior vice president and general counsel, replacing the departing GC Bob Bostrom. Henchel arrives from home shopping retailer HSN, Inc., where he was chief legal officer. (Corporate Counsel)

• A federal judge approved an investigator’s request to look into allegedly fraudulent concussion illness claims by retired NFL players, the latest development in a sometimes acrimonious dispute between the league and former players over their $1 billion concussion settlement. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

• Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ meeting with state attorneys general to discuss complaints against social media companies has been expanded to include Democrats, the Justice Department said. (Bloomberg)

• As Hurricane Florence bears down on North Carolina, employees who don’t report to work during dangerous hurricane conditions could be fired under a state policy. (Bloomberg LawCourts in the Carolinas and Virginia announced closings, on top of law schools that have closed. (ABA Journal)

 

Lawyers, Law Firms, Deals

• As Georgia voters sue for a return to paper ballots in the November election, Morrison & Foerster partner John Carlin is among lawyers representing voters pro bono in a lawsuit that argues that the state’s electronic voting system is a high risk for abuse. (Bloomberg)

• CMS UK said it launched a firmwide group of legal tech specialists to focus on the future of its legal service design. (Artificial Lawyer)

 • Milbank advised two Japanese companies–Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport & Urban Development and Japan Bank for International Cooperation–which agreed to loan $300 million to Texas Central Rail Holdings, LLC , a private company developing a high-speed rail link between Dallas and Houston in Texas. Texas Central expects the project to cost about $15 billion. (Milbank) (Politico)

• Cozen O’Connor advised McCarthy Cook in a $179.7 million acquisition of Castro Station, a three-building class A office campus in downtown Mountain View, California, whose seven tenants include Dropbox. (Globe St.com)

 

Laterals, Moves

• Duane Morris welcomed immigration lawyer Pierre Georges Bonnefil as a partner in New York. Roetzel & Andress added five labor and employment lawyers in Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. And other news about worklaw attorneys and law firms. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

• Nutter McClennen & Fish‘s intellectual property department added seven IP attorneys in Boston, arriving from Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers. And more recent moves at prominent IP firms and IP-related organizations. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

 

Legal Actions

• Attorneys for the advocacy group Electronic Privacy Information Center seeking to force the IRS to release Donald Trump’s tax returns are fighting Justice Department lawyers in a Washington federal appeals court. (National Law Journal)

• The National Labor Relations Board wants to limit the responsibility of franchise-based companies like McDonald’s for workplace law violations by franchisees, staffing businesses, and other affiliates. (Bloomberg Law)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor.