• General counsel pay is up significantly on average as the economy gains steam and companies ask their top lawyers to take on more roles, but the average varies widely depending on company sector and size, says a new report by Equilar. Based on Securities and Exchange Commission filings from fiscal year 2016 to 2017, the report says general counsel pay increases averaged 6.7 percent compared with 4 percent the previous year, across publicly traded companies in the Equilar 500 index. The average hike was almost 22 percent at companies with under $5 million in revenue, but just 0.9 percent on average for companies with over $20 million in revenue. GCs at the biggest companies had much higher compensation to start with, however. (Corporate Counsel)
  • Paul Weiss advised IBM on its $33 billion purchase of Red Hat Inc., IBM’s biggest deal ever and the second largest in technology ever. Skadden advised the Linux operating system developer in the transaction, which featured some of the country’s biggest names in M&A. IBM had Paul Weiss M&A partners Scott Barshay and Steve Williams and finance partner Greg Ezring, while Red Hat had Skadden partners Howard Ellin and Brandon Van Dyke leading. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)
  • BakerHostetler advised the E.W. Scripps Company in its $521 million acquisition of 15 television stations from Cordillera Communications, advised by Cooley. (Multichannel News) (Scripps)
  • Sheppard Mullin grabbed a “turnkey” group of seven attorneys from Venable for the firm’s real estate, land use and environmental practice group in New York. Among the group are partners Peter G. Koffler, formerly chair of Venable’s New York real estate practice group and vice chair of the firm’s national practice; Brian N. Gurtman and Ross A. Honig; special counsel Julia Geykhman, Robert J. Gorzelany, and Lee Weiss; and associate Jared Wachtler, are also making the switch. (SheppardMullin.com)
  • Stamford, Connecticut-based Day Pitney, which has 252 attorneys, will have 22 lawyers in Florida after Jan. 1, when it absorbs litigation boutique Richman Greer’s 15 attorneys in Miami and West Palm Beach. (Daily Business Review)
  • Ropes & Gray announced the largest round of partner and counsel promotions in the firm’s 153-year history, with 24 attorneys, including 12 women, named partners, and six named counsel. (RopesGray.com)
  • A New York judge voided a state law that has allowed online fantasy sports games companies FanDuel Inc. and DraftKings Inc. to do business in the state, but the ruling’s impact is not yet clear. David Boies, of Boies, Schiller & Flexner, is outside counsel for DraftKings. (Bloomberg)
  • A subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, Inc., a Hunton Andrews Kurth client, won its free speech challenge to a broadly written gag order that restricted hog farm producers, complaining neighbors, witnesses, and lawyers from speaking about a smelly case in North Carolina. (Bloomberg Law)

Lawyers, Law Firms, Deals

  • California Governor Jerry Brown included two Big Law litigation partners, Michael Kelley of Sidley Austin and Maurice “Mo” Sanchez of Nelson Mullins, among his six latest appointees to the state trial court bench Monday. Last week, Brown nominated five appellate court justices and appointed 11 Superior Court judges. He named Linda Lye, an ACLU staff attorney for Northern California and former clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, to the Contra Costa County Superior Court bench. Hanson Bridgett partner Michael McNaughton was appointed to the San Francisco Superior Court. (The Recorder)
  • Keker got a win over the NBA champion Golden State Warriors, a Morrison & Foerster client, in arbitration over the team’s lease dispute with the City of Oakland and the County of Alameda related to its planned move to San Francisco. (The Recorder)
  • Wiggin and Dana won a refund of about $500,000 in New York estate taxes in a case for a client in New York Surrogate Court. State lawyers said the ruling could prove an “opening of floodgates” for millions of dollars in tax refunds and other lost tax revenues. (WealthManagement.com) (Forbes)

Legal Actions

  • The Trump administration asked the U.S. Supreme Court to halt a scheduled trial on lawsuits that challenge the addition of a question about citizenship to the 2020 census. (Bloomberg via Bloomberg Law)
  • A new federal lawsuit accuses President Donald Trump, three of his children, and the Trump Organization of using their fame to rip off vulnerable people through alleged scam investments. (New York Times) (Bloomberg)
  • Trump wants porn star Stormy Daniels to pay $342,000 for his attorney fees after defeating her defamation lawsuit. (Bloomberg Law)
  • Two days after the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said the Justice Department is concerned about a “gap in hate-crime statistics.” (Bloomberg via Bloomberg Law)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Molly Ward.