• A new trade deal lets four U.K-based firms keep their foreign legal consultant offices open in Seoul after the U.K. leaves the European Union. A no-deal Brexit could have forced the firms to close their offices, because under Korean law, for foreign law firms to have offices in Seoul, their home countries must have FTAs with Korea. Thanks to the post-Brexit free trade deal signed Monday by Britain and Korea, the firms Clifford Chance, Linklaters, Stephenson Harwood, and Allen & Overy can keep their offices operating, even in a no-deal Brexit scenario. Anglo-Australian Herbert Smith Freehills re-registered its Seoul office as an Australian firm in March. (Asian Lawyer via Law.com)

  • The legal profession will likely see an increase in hiring in the next six months, with growth mainly fueled by litigation hires, according to a new survey report by Robert Half Legal. Nearly six in 10 U.S.-based lawyers responding said their law firm or company plans to expand their legal teams in 2019’s second half. That’s up 12 percentage points from the last time the recruiter conducted the survey, in December 2018. (Robert Half Legal)

  • Philadelphia-based Blank Rome is entering the Chicago market with a new office staffed by a four-partner group grabbed from Katten Muchin Rosenman. (BLAW via BLB)

  • DLA Piper is getting a top diversity and inclusion official from Johns Hopkins University. Fenimore Fisher, who has a law degree but has never practiced law, is leaving the university next month to lead the law firm’s diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy. (Hub.jhu.edu)

  • Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and Chicago firm Kellker Lenkner filed two federal class actions alleging that Amazon’s Alexa-enabled devices, like Echo and Echo Dot, illegally record children’s conversations and “voiceprint” them. (The Recorder)

  • The Department of Justice’s top antitrust lawyer, Makan Delrahim, and Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joe Simons have agreed to divvy up the cases of Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple between them. That decision, echoing the way Allied leaders carved up postwar Eastern Europe, launched what could be a new era of antitrust enforcement, according to a report. (BN)

  • Greenberg Traurig, represented by Steptoe & Johnson LLP, has to face a $1.3 million lawsuit by a construction executive turned producer over the financing of a flop 2018 biopic about mobster John Gotti, a New York state appeals court ruled yesterday. (American Lawyer)

  • On a brighter note for Greenberg Traurig, it’s launching a new innovation-focused subsidiary called “Recurve,” aimed at being the first law-firm founded, third-party financed global collaboration platform solely focused on innovation in support of efficient delivery of legal services. (BLAW via BLB)

  • Legal tech provider Intapp is releasing a new tool for law firms that uses artificial intelligence to help set and track pricing for client projects “from quote to bill.” Ten legal tech vendors are competing to sell pricing tools to firms. (BLAW)

  • Troutman Sanders hired white collar defense lawyer Ghillaine Reid, a former branch chief in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement, as a partner in New York. Reid arrives from McGuireWoods, where she co-led its broker-dealer industry team. (Troutman.com)

Lawyers, Law Firms, Deals

  • The Black Law Students Association at Columbia Law School wants the school to fire a lecturer who was a key prosecutor in the so-called Central Park Five case, in which five young minorities were convicted of a 1989 rape they didn’t commit. The association’s demands were sparked by new Netflix miniseries on the subject. (New York Law Journal)

  • Herbert Smith Freehills was accused of “aggressive and intimidating behavior” by a London worker who sued her employer for sexual harassment. (Law Society Gazette)

  • Despite a looming slowdown, real estate executives and investors remain optimistic about the real estate market and overall U.S. economy, in particular because benefits of the Trump tax reform are still kicking in, according to a new survey report from Akerman. (Akerman.com)

Laterals, Moves, Promotions

  • Arent Fox hired L.A.-based attorney Lisa Singer to lead its new automotive compliance management service. Singer previously had senior legal roles advising on automotive compliance at KPA LLC, a risk-management software and services company, and Auto Advisory Services, Inc. According to her LinkedIn, she was a consulting attorney in Arent Fox’s automotive department from 2011 to 2017. (ArentFox.com)

  • King & Spalding said Troutman Sanders trial and global dispute lawyer Douglas A. Henderson joined the firm as a partner on its toxic & environmental torts team in Atlanta. (KSLaw.com)

  • DLA Piper hired litigator Scott Weber, who was most recently executive vice president and general counsel at CNA Financial Corporation and joins the firm as a partner in New York. (DLAPiper.com)

  • McGlinchey Stafford added four associates to its Texas commercial litigation practice: Stacey Fuller and Matthew Knox are based in the firms’ Houston office, while Murad Salim, and Daniel Troiano are in its Dallas office. (McGlinchey.com)

Legal Education

  • Dartmouth University awarded Hogan Lovells partner Hilary Tompkins an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. Tompkins, a Navajo Nation member, specializes in natural resources, environmental, and Indian law. She’s a former DOJ trial attorney and was the first Native American to serve as solicitor for the U.S. Department of the Interior, Dartmouth said. (Dartmouth.edu)