Wake Up Call: PwC to Open U.S. Law Firm

• PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is set to launch a U.S. law firm called “ILC legal” later this month, with an office in Washington, D.C., in the latest move into law firms’ turf by Big Four accounting firms. (Am Law Daily)

• Kasowitz Benson Torres announced a management reset, naming Cindy Caranella Kelly and Wallace L. Schwartz as co-managing partners for day-to-day administration. The New York-based firm has been hit by partner exits recently, amidst negative publicity linked to its high-profile founder Marc E. Kasowitz’s work for Trump. (BLB)

• Foley Hoag, Duane Morris, and Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer top American Lawyer’s latest ranking of the best Big Law firms for summer associates, based on a wide-ranging survey of thousands of law school students about their summer associate gigs this year. (American Lawyer) Job opportunities for recent law school graduates are looking up, as 22 percent of firms plan to hire more first-year associates in the next 12 months, according to a recent survey by staffing firm Robert Half Legal. (PR Newswire)

• The Securities and Exchange Commission said hackers breached its electronic database and may have profited from the information they stole. (Bloomberg)

• 99 Cents Only stores hired law firms Proskauer Rose LLP and Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy LLP to help it with restructuring debt, making it the latest retail chain seeking assistance with a borrowing wall. (Bloomberg)

• Meanwhile, Equifax Inc. faces a “legal onslaught” from U.S. states for its huge breach. (Financial Times) But the credit-reporting agency could get away with paying $1 per person after failing to protect almost half of America’s credit data. (Bloomberg via BLB)

• A new report cites a widening of the gender pay gap for legal professionals in San Francisco, even as the gap has decreased for some professions. Median income for women legal professionals in San Francisco fell $4,000 on average in a recent five-year period in which male colleagues gained almost $2,000 in median income, the report said. (LiveStories)

 

Law Firm Business

• Omaha-founded Kutak Rock said Jay Selanders, managing partner of the 500-lawyer firm’s Kansas City office, is its new chairman, after taking over from David Jacobson, who stepped down last week. (Omaha World-Herald)

• Major law firms’ offices in Mexico City got rattled by the earthquake that killed hundreds of people in the city, but most of the firms reported no major damage. (Daily Business Review)

• Hurricane Irma has disrupted Florida law firms’ revenue and collections, with small firms the hardest hit. (Daily Business Review)

• Two India firms, Mumbai-based IC Legal and Bengaluru-based Universal Legal, are merging to form IC Universal Legal, Advocates & Solicitors, which will have 100 lawyers and 15 partners across seven offices in India, and “affiliate” offices in Los Angeles, Santa Clara, New Jersey, Atlanta and Washington, according to a report. (Legally India)

 

 

Legal Actions

•  Silicon Valley companies including Google or Apple Inc. are big users of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office board to fend off what they consider nuisance lawsuits from companies looking for a quick payday. On the other hand, Allergan Plc opted to pay a Native American tribe $15 million a year rather than let one of its blockbuster drugs be scrutinized by the office. (Bloomberg via BLB)

• California sued the Trump administration over its plan to build a wall along the state’s border with Mexico, in the state’s latest legal challenge to Trump immigration policies. (Bloomberg)

• Holland & Knight agreed to pay $5 million to settle a $14 million malpractice suit in Florida. (Law.com)

• City attorneys for San Francisco and Oakland said they are filing civil lawsuits against major oil companies for their role in climate change that affect their cities. (CBS San Franciso Bay)

• Toshiba Corp.’s board agreed to sell its flash memory chip unit to a group led by Bain Capital for 2 trillion yen ($18 billion). That’s an important step toward ending a contentious bidding process that has stretched over eight months. (Bloomberg)

 

 

Regulators and Enforcement

• Steptoe & Johnson LLP partner Matthew Kulkin has been named director of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight, the agency said. (Bloomberg BNA via BLB)

• Hotel workers in cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York have been getting union training sessions on how to effectively stonewall U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents during raids. (Bloomberg Businessweek)

• Prosecutors say Anthony Weiner should get the maximum 21 months after the former congressman pleaded guilty to sending explicit messages to a 15-year-old girl. (Bloomberg)

 

 

 

The Trump Administration

• Preet Bharara debuted his podcast, “Stay Tuned with Preet,” by detailing how President Donald Trump fired him in March despite earlier asking him to stay on as the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan. (Bloomberg via BLB)

• If past investigations are any indication, Trump aides caught up in the Russia probes will be hit anxiety, distrust and legal bills. (Bloomberg via BLB)

• Three public interest groups are seeking to force the Trump administration to account for its failure to turn over records of presidential visitors at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. (Bloomberg)

 

 

 

Happening in SCOTUS and Other Courts

• The U.S. Constitution is holding up pretty well in the “stress test” caused by Trump administration policies, writes Noah Feldman. (Bloomberg View)

• A Georgia country chief judge faces an ethics probe for allegedly refusing a public defender’s requests for a bathroom break, resulting in an “accident” during a murder trial in June. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

 

 

Laterals, Moves, Law Firm Work

• Cozen O’Connor said it expanded its national labor & employment practice, adding Jake Rubinstein, former executive director of employee & labor relations at the University of Chicago, as a member in Denver. Rubinstein will add a new practice area to the office, handling management-side labor and employment-law matters for higher education clients as well as labor and employment matters for clients in other industries, the firm said. (Cozen.com)

• Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, a global biopharmaceutical company, named as its general counsel and corporate secretary Alex Driggs, who had been serving in an acting capacity for those roles since earlier this year. Driggs, who also served as associate and deputy GC after starting at Sucampo in 2015, has been an in-house lawyer for other biotech companies, and started his legal career as an associate at Cooley. (Nasdaq)

 

 

Technology

• Lawyers say parts of a new Wisconsin law that gives special expedited treatment to appeals filed by Taiwanese tech Foxconn Technology Group may be unconstitutional. (AP via Chicago Tribune)

• Facebook Inc.’s internal government affairs team and outside lobbyists face a big test in the growing Congressional and federal scrutiny of Russian-funded web advertising on the social network during the 2016 presidential election. (Recorder)

• A Japanese startup called Valu Inc., a cross between a trading platform and crowdfunding site, lets anyone hold a personal IPO. (Bloomberg)

 

Miscellaneous

• Convicted bond trader Jesse Litvak is learning a weekly rountine as federal inmate No. 21467-014, in one of the cushiest of federal prisons. (Bloomberg)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Casey Sullivan.

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