Wake Up Call: London Sees Hot Market for White Collar Hires

Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

• White collar crime experts are in high demand in London, both for laterals from law firms and attorneys leaving regulatory positions, as U.K.-based companies fret about growing enforcement risks. U.S. law firms including Gibson Dunn, King & Spalding, Ropes & Gray, Greenberg Traurig, and Willkie Farr & Gallagher have made recent hires in the sector. Elite U.K. firms including Allen & Overy, Freshfields, and Linklaters, are said to have followed suit, with Slaughter and May also looking to hire. (Financial Times)

• The University of Chicago Law School tops Above the Law’s latest “outcomes driven” law school rankings, followed by University of Virginia Law School, and Duke Law School, pushing down last year’s No. 1 Harvard and No. 3 Yale.  Above the Law’s rankings ignore things like LSAT scores, professorial scholarship, or law school library size, to focus instead on how many of a school’s graduates get jobs at large law firms or in federal clerkships. (Above the Law)

• Speaking of clerkships, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer last week became the latest justice on the court to support a plan that would slow down the law-clerk application process for federal judges, which now begins after a law student’s first year. He commented in his commencement address for New York Law School graduates. (New York Law Journal)

• Orrick expanded its China practice with the hire of Dentons’ former Beijing office chief, Sarah Zeng, a specialist in China-related corporate transactions in the energy and manufacturing sectors. Zeng’s hire, as a partner, comes as Chinese investments in North American and European companies are getting more government scrutiny. (Law.Com International)

• Legal recruiters regularly hear allegations of sexual misconduct about lawyers and law firms, and observe the impact of sexual misconduct on lawyers’ careers. However, for various reasons such accusations rarely get aired, a report says. (American Lawyer)

• Federal Trade Commission attorneys have “qualified immunity” to claims that they retaliated against a company under a data security investigation whose founder lashed out at the agency, a federal judge ruled. (Bloomberg Law)

• An app developed by teams at Reed Smith allows clients to assess risk from a suspected data breach, highlighting a new incentive program that rewards lawyers for working on innovative projects. Separate programs at Hogan Lovells, Allen & Overy, and White & Case are other examples of legal organizations experimenting with tech to enhance how they deliver services. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

• In another example of collaboration, 7-Eleven worked with Seyfarth Shaw to develop a system for managing its real estate portfolio of 10,000-plus properties in the U.S. and Canada. (Corporate Counsel)

 

 Lawyers, Law Firms, Laterals

• White & Case’s new Palo Alto office has video rooms equipped with wide-screen teleconferencing and virtual-reality equipment, aimed at freeing lawyers from traditional offices and making it easier for them to collaborate. The firm said the office, which also has a peloton-bike equipped gym and quiet room, is part of a strategy to emulate its tech clients, and boost its Silicon Valley practice, which has 35 lawyers, including seven partners. (The Recorder)

• Schiff Hardin was hired by Chicago’s Board of Education to investigate the city school system’s  policies and procedures for dealing with alleged sexual misconduct, harassment or abuse, after a newspaper reported cases of sexual violence against students. (Chicago Tribune)

 • Cole Schotz said it represented Delos Capital in its majority investment in US Fitness, which operates health and fitness clubs across the mid-Atlantic and southeastern United States. Financial details were not disclosed. (Cole Schotz)

• Haynes and Boone said it is expanding its energy practice by opening an office in The Woodlands, a fast-growing corporate hub near Houston. Litigation partner Craig Stahl will serve as administrative partner for the office, the firm’s 16th office worldwide, joined by corporate partner Bill McDonald, commercial litigation partner Jeff Kuehnle, and litigation counsel Emmie Gooch. (Haynesboone.com)

 

Regulators

• A new Department of Justice healthcare fraud case may signal that it plans to hold private equity firms accountable for false claims violations by companies in their portfolio. (Bloomberg Law) PE firms, and other active investors and corporate affiliates, could also face civil liability for workplace harassment by other entities’ employees or that occurred at other entities’ workplaces, under so-called joint-employer claims allowed by anti-discrimination law, two Reed Smith attorneys wrote. (Bloomberg Law)

• The U.S. opened a new U.S. criminal investigation into whether traders manipulated prices in the $550 billion market for unsecured bonds issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The case shows that probes into market manipulation by bank traders are continuing under President Donald Trump. (Bloomberg)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor.