Wake Up Call: Trump Picks Lawyer to Lead Staff

Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, waves after speaking during the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., on Thursday, July 21, 2016. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

• President-elect Donald Trump on Sunday chose Reinhold “Reince” Priebus, a Wisconsin lawyer and chairman of the Republican National Committee, to serve as his chief of staff.  (New York Times)

• And Rudy Giuliani’s decision to leave Greenberg Traurig to help manage Trump’s campaign certainly paid off. He’s on the short list of names in a Trump administration. (NYT)

• Banks and lawyers are advising potential Chinese buyers to hold off on cross-border deals for U.S. targets until President-elect Trump clarifies his policy. (Bloomberg)

• U.S.-based law firms with sizable Asia practices are wondering if President Trump will follow through on threats like hitting China with 45 percent trade tariffs and pulling the U.S. out of the World Trade Organization. (Am Law Daily)

• Introducing… the biggest… law firm merger… of 2016! Six months after word of their talks first trickled out, Arnold & Porter and Kaye Scholer are set to combine to form Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP in a deal effective Jan. 1. (BLB)

• Will the deal bring layoffs or departures? Since the new firm will hav a Tallahassee office to employ non-lawyer administrative staff, expect firm leaders to transition folks in IT, HR, finance and other back-office functions to this low rent Florida hub. That’s reading between the lines of what Richard Alexander, chair of Arnold & Porter, and Michael Solow, managing partner of Kaye Scholer, told BLB last week. (BLB)

• All together, the new Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer will staff around 1,000 lawyers, with Novartis and Pfizer as top clients. BLB editors Casey Sullivan and Josh Block break down all the details in the latest Big Law Business podcast. Subscribe in iTunes here. (BLB)


Legal Market

• Free legal advice here! U.K. law firm Addleshaw Goddard’s 500,000 pound ($627,000) plan to advise to financial technogy startups gratis is the latest such effort by law firms seeking to tap into the market for advising financial tech ventures, particulary for digital currencies like Bitcoin. (Cryptocoins News)

• London-based specialist law firm MJ Hudson, which advises alternative fund managers, said it has acquired an investment advisory firm as part of its plan to advise the world’s biggest hedge funds. (Wall Street Journal)

• Bryan Cave last week launched a new service in which its data analysts, program management and software experts help clients’ deal with legal department operational problems, becoming the latest law firm to to make such a transition. (Am Law Daily)

• The financial crisis hit and the Lehman bailout that never came. AIG’s retiring general counsel Tom Russo reflects on those and other subjects. (BLB)

• King & Wood Mallesons’ UK, Europe and Middle East partners have about a week to agree to 12-month lock-ins if they want to get a financial lifeline from their Chinese partners. (The Lawyer)

• Alternative fee arrangements are not a panacea for problems facing the legal profession but they could provide an incentive for clients and firms to eliminate structural challenges to a successful partnership, write a Cravath, Swaine & Moore partner and GE’s general counsel. (BLB)

• Three employees from major banks have been arrested in a U.K. insider-trading investigation stemming from revelations in the Panama Papers tax scandal. (Bloomberg)


President-elect Trump

• Trump’s pick of Priebus, a Washington insider, as his chief of staff, while naming Stephen Bannon, who has openly attacked Republican congressional leaders, as chief strategist and senior counselor, contributed to confusion over his policy plans. (Politico)

• Trump’s election may allow banks to dodge the full impact of global regulators’ crackdown aimed at avoiding a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis. (Bloomberg)

• The legal-weed industry that celebrated victories in eight states last week is now warily eyeing the coming Trump administration, especially the prospect of an Attorney General Rudy Giuliani. (Bloomberg)

• When Trump takes office in January, he will have more potential conflicts of interest than any other president in U.S. history. (Bloomberg View)

• Only two presidents have had to deal with private lawsuits while in office: Kennedy and Clinton. Trump has 75 pending lawsuits. (Bloomberg View)

• President Obama should pardon Hillary Clinton in her lingering email server scandal, even if she doesn’t want him to. (Bloomberg View)



• U.K. businesses have delayed or canceled investments worth 65.5 billion pounds ($82 billion) since the country’s vote to leave the European Union, with more than 40 percent of large companies scaling back, according to new data. (Bloomberg)

• London could lose 83,000 jobs over the next seven years if the city loses euro-denominated clearing to continental Europe because of Brexit, according to an EY report. (Financial Times)


Happening in SCOTUS and Other Courts

• Five big issues facing the U.S. Supreme Court. The new justice nominated by President Trump in the first half of 2017 is likely to join a court that has been split 4-4 since the unexpected death of Justice Antonin Scalia last February. (Bloomberg via BLB)

• Trump said the issue of marriage equality in the U.S. is settled Supreme Court law and he’s “fine with that,” yet he pledged to support overturning the 1973 high court decision that a woman has a right to choose to have an abortion. (Bloomberg)

• The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will hear an advocate group’s free speech case challenging federal government rules aimed at keeping protesters at a distance as the president parades down Pennsylvania Avenue next Jan. 20. (National Law Journal)



• An EU investigation threatens Google’s strategy of allowing mobile phone and tablet makers to install its Android operating system and 11 key apps on their devices for free. (Bloomberg)

• When Adobe acquired digital video advertising software company TubeMogul for $540 million in debt and cash it got advice from Weil, Gotshal & Manges, while TubeMogul got help from DLA Piper. (The Recorder)

• Anonymity offered by some blockchain distributed ledger platforms could ease the trafficking of criminal gains, the sale of illegal goods and ransom payments, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority warned. (Bloomberg)

• On Veterans Day Friday Jones Day invited corporate clients to symposiums to introduce them to Vetlex, a digital network it developed with the American Bar Association to help veterans and their organizations hook up with pro-bono lawyers across the country. (BLB)

• A partner at Peter Thiel’s venture firm Founders Fund broke with the billionaire PayPal founder and Trump supporter, writing that he’s worried about a Donald Trump’s presidency. (Bloomberg)

• Global legal software provider LEAP, which makes a cloud-based practice management system for small law firms, has set up its first office in Belfast, Ireland. (Irish News)


Legal Education

• The National Law School Veterans Clinic Consortium allows clinics at law schools across the country to work together to improve legal representation for former military personnel. It recently became an official non-profiit. (National Law Journal)



• A paralegal at a large firm said she was sexuallly assaulted by an associate, and alleged an increasing climate of sexual harassment at the firm following Trump’s election.(Above The Law)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Casey Sullivan. 

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