Wake Up Call: Twitter Engineers’ Gender Bias Suit Fails in Calif.

• Twitter Inc. escaped a group lawsuit alleging systematic discrimination against female software engineers, in the latest sign that a fight against gender bias at big tech employers has yet to gain traction in courts. Tina Huang, the woman leading the case against Twitter, “failed to present substantial evidence of a common policy or practice that guided Twitter managers’ decisions with respect to promotions,” the California judge in the case said. (Bloomberg)

• Facebook is buying a London-based startup that built an artificial intelligence tool the social network reportedly plans to use to fight fake news. The acquisition, months after the startup joined the innovation incubator of elite U.K. law firm Allen Overy, is for an estimated $20 million to $30 million. (Legal Business) (Global Legal Post)

• Barnes & Noble said advice from law firm Paul Weiss led it to fire, without severance, CEO Demos Parneros for violating company policies. It didn’t specify the reason for the firing. (Bloomberg)

• Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. could face billions of dollars in damages after a British appeals court ruling in favor of retailers including subsidiaries of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., finding that so-called interchange fees fixed by the credit card companies restrict competition and are unlawful. (Bloomberg) Linklaters and Jones Day were said to be on the losing side in the case. (The Lawyer)

• After a record 102 law firm M&As in 2017, this year looks to be on pace for another record year, with 51 combinations so far in the year’s first half. Altman Weil MergerLine, which tracks such combinations, attributed that pace to a continued rocky marketplace for legal matters. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

• King & Wood Mallesons said it is getting former Sidley Austin partner and Baker McKenzie partner Anthony Jacobsen, most recently senior VP in the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited, as of counsel in August, in an expansion of its Hong Kong office that includes four “strategic” promotions to partner, and eight promotions to senior associate and of counsel. (KWM.com)

• Six months after 44 law firms adopted the Mansfield Rule, a policy to consider more women and minority job candidates, some firms have implemented written job descriptions for leadership roles, in a first sign of progress, according to the organization that designed the rule. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

• Milbank said it advised Swedish private equity firm EQT on its acquisition of pioneering Linux business SUSE from Micro Focus International plc, the global infrastructure software business, for about $2.5 billion. The deal is subject to approval by regulators and shareholders. (Milbank.com) (ZDNet)

• Lobbyists for tech giants Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Uber are teaming up in an effort to weaken California’s new privacy law before it comes into force in 2020. (Washington Post)

• Those same companies might be breaking the EU’s new data privacy law, according to analysis by a new AI tool developed by the EU’s biggest consumer protection advocacy group and the European University Institute in Florence. (BEUC)

• President Trump has met with seven potential candidates to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court, and Vice President Michael Pence has also met some of them. (Associated Press via Time)

 

Lawyers and Law Firms

• As special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation continues to expand, he’s tapping additional Justice Department resources, including use of career prosecutors and FBI agents, in a sign that he may plan to hand off parts of his investigation, several U.S. officials said. (Bloomberg via BLB)

• Willkie Farr & Gallagher said it represented Illuminate Education and New York-based venture capital and PE firm Insight Venture Partners in a five-way merger to create the biggest U.S. provider of data platforms aimed at K-12 teachers. (PR Web) (EdWeek)

• Eversheds Sutherland senior associate Todd Betor recently talked to Bloomberg Tax about state and local implications of the Trump federal tax reform. (Bloomberg Tax)

 

Laterals, Moves

• Davis Polk said it elected eight new partners: David R. Bauer, Mark J. DiFiore, Brian D. Hirsch and Derek Walters, are in its corporate department in New York; Micah G. Block, litigation, in Northern California; Tatiana Martins, litigation, New York; Paul J. Nathanson, litigation, Washington; Gerhard Radtke, corporate, Hong Kong. All are effective immediately, except for Martins, who rejoins the firm Sept. 1. (DavisPolk.com)

 

Legal Actions/Courts

• The latest Know Your Judge column looks at Georgia federal judge Orinda D. Evans, whose recent ruling in an employee benefits case allowed a group of SunTrust Bank Inc. workers to proceed as a class with claims that the bank’s 401(k) plan violated federal benefits law. (Bloomberg Law)

 

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor.