Wake Up Call: New UnitedLex, LeClairRyan Venture Aims to Cut Law Firm Costs

• Alternative legal services provider UnitedLex said it is hooking up with law firm LeClairRyan in a venture to help law firms cut costs and boost partner profits, while addressing client demands for flexible rates. The venture, called ULX partners, initially has 300 professionals “re-badged” from LeClairRyan and over 130 professionals from UnitedLex. Law firms that sign up will get a range of legal services including finance, human resources, IT, pricing, procurement, and knowledge management. UnitedLex said. (American Lawyer) (UnitedLex)

• Quinn Emanuel told its U.S. associates they’ll get a pay hike, apparently based on the scale initially posted by Milbank and then tweaked by Cravath. (Above the Law)

• Volkswagen AG agreed with German authorities to pay a 1 billion-euro ($1.2 billion) fine for cheating to get around diesel-emissions regulations, but the automaker faces other challenges in the scandal. (Bloomberg) Inspired by the VW situation, German lawmakers approved legislation that will allow interest groups to sue on behalf of consumers, a tentative step toward U.S.-style class-action lawsuits. (Bloomberg)

• Michael Cohen and his McDermott, Will & Emery lawyers are splitting up over a fee dispute. One report says Cohen,  President Donald Trump’s longtime and now ex-personal attorney, may be planning to cooperate with federal investigators as he faces various criminal charges. (ABC News) But Bloomberg reports that Cohen, though financially strapped, may have other intentions. (Bloomberg)

• The chief judge of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, David Ruschke, is suing his former employer, Medtronic Inc., alleging the medical equipment maker used his sexual orientation and a heart condition to wrongfully terminate him. (National Law Journal)

• Almost a decade after Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme collapsed, the trustee unwinding his fraud, BakerHostetler bankruptcy lawyer Irving Picard, announced a $280 million settlement that brings his recovery tally to $12.9 billion, or about 74 percent of the lost principal. The settlement with hedge-fund operator and philanthropist J. Ezra Merkin, one of Madoff’s earliest investors, allows Merkin, represented by Dechert partner Andrew Levander, to avoid a big lawsuit. (Bloomberg via BLB)

• Norton Rose Fulbright added two partners to its corporate, M&A and securities practices, getting the co-chair of Katten Muchin’s M&A practice, S. Ward Atterbury, in New York, and Blank Rome corporate partner Mark Greenfield as the firm’s new corporate team chief in Los Angeles. (The Recorder)

 • The judiciary can’t take disciplinary actions against retired federal judges accused of sexual misconduct–only impeachment is an option, according to testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

• The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s proposed updated guidance on workplace harassment has been gathering dust at the White House for about six months. (Bloomberg Law)

 

 Lawyers and Law Firms

Locke Lord said Glenn Pudelka, Boston-based co-chairman of the firm’s trademark, copyright and advertising practice group, was elected president of the Copyright Society of the USA. (LockeLord.com)

• Cravath last night was due to host a performance of “Fast Times at Ruth Bader Ginsburg High,” a music program about the U.S. Supreme Court justice co-written by an Arent Fox associate and a former Dechert law clerk and current Columbia University lecturer. Audience members could receive CLE credit. (New York Law Journal)

• The internet dubbed a Bermuda litigation lawyer “Daderina” after a video of him got nearly 40 million views, showing him going onstage to help his panicked two-year-old daughter finish her ballet performance. (Washington Post)

 

 Laterals, Moves

• Hunton Andrews Kurth said it added four lawyers to its national real estate practice–three from Akerman in California and one in New York. Counsel Jesse M. Nichols, senior attorney Christopher L. Muno, and associate Mack Watson joined in L.A. Associate Taila L. Martin joined in New York from Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf. (HuntonAK.com)

• Dechert said it added Steven W. Rabitz, a former in-house lawyer at Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, and Barclays, as a partner in its employee benefits and executive compensation group in New York. He was most recently a partner at Stroock & Stroock. (Dechert)

 White & Case hired King & Spalding construction project partner David Strickland in Houston, the firm’s latest move as it expands its office in the city. (Texas Lawyer)

 

Legal Actions

• Federal judge Richard Leon is known for using a lot exclamation points and his 172-page ruling that okays the AT&T-Time Warner merger contains 19. (National Law Journal)

• Health-care companies considering future mergers rejoiced at Leon’s decision, but antitrust attorneys said antitrust enforcers may not treat those companies the same. (Bloomberg Law)

 

Legal Education

• Boston-based Brown Rudnick’s new diversity fellowship for first-year law students is a pretty good deal, with a new wrinkle that it is open to all 1Ls who are the first in their family to go to college, including white males, apparently. (American Lawyer)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor.