Wake Up Call: Varying Views on Sex Harassment at Big Law Firms

Illustration by geralt (Pixabay)

• Female and male lawyers at Big Law firms don’t see eye-to-eye on harassment, gender bias, and other social problems at work, not even close, according to recent survey data. For instance, 68 percent of women lawyers said they’d experienced sexual harassment at work, while only 19 percent of men said they had been harassed. And 81 percent of women lawyers said they’d been mistaken for a lower-level employee, something men didn’t report experiencing. (ABA Journal) Are male Big Law lawyers out of touch about the scale of sexual harassment and other gender problems at their firms? Columnist Vivia Chen says “yes.” (American Lawyer)

• Meanwhile, after labor law firm Ogletree last week criticized a former partner who sought to join a proposed gender bias suit against the firm, her lawyer stepped up in her defense. (American Lawyer)

• Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the most interrupted Supreme Court justice in the term that recently ended.  But she was also the justice who interrupted others far more than any other justice or attorney at the court, according to one report. (Empirical Scotus)

• Morgan Stanley’s Eric Grossman topped ALM’s most recent ranking of top paid general counsel, at about $6.95 million in total cash compensation.  He was followed by Laureen Seeger of American Express with about $6.7 million, and Gerson Zweifach of Twenty-First Century Fox with about $5.5 million. (Corporate Counsel) Six of the top 10 earners are based in New York. (New York Law Journal)

• Hearst promoted deputy GCs Mark Redman and Jonathan Donnellan to vice president and co-general counsel. Both came to Hearst in 2003 and became deputy GCs in May 2011. Donnellan, who had previous in-house roles at the New York Daily News and CNN, started his legal career at Cahill Gordon & Reindel. Redman, who was director of legal affairs for SmartMoney magazine and VP and GC for FreeRide.com,  started out at Skadden. Hearst also made several other in-house promotions. (Hearst)

• Stanford Law School Dean Elizabeth Magill is leaving at the end of the upcoming school year to become the provost of the University of Virginia. (The Recorder)

• Wells Fargo & Co. and its Proskauer Rose and Dorsey & Whitney lawyers scored a big win when a federal appeals court refused to revive a lawsuit accusing the bank of failing to remove allegedly expensive and underperforming proprietary funds from its 401(k) plan. The plaintiff investor had three law firms on his side: Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, Elias Gutzler Spicer, and Lockridge Grindal Nauen. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)

• King & Spalding added eight energy private equity and infrastructure lawyers in New York and Washington, mainly from Morrison & Foerster. The group includes Jonathan Melmed, formerly co-chair of MoFo’s PE practice. Melmed will be co-chair of King & Spalding’s global PE practice and head of its U.S. power and infrastructure group. (Bloomberg Law via BLB)



• Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh regrets his decision decades ago to leave his then new job at Kirkland & Ellis to go back to work for Ken Starr on the controversial investigation of President Bill Clinton’s Monica Lewinsky scandal. (New York Times)


Lawyers and Law Firms

• Morrison & Foerster said it represented Treasure Data in its sale to semiconductor and software designer Arm Holdings US, the British chip designer owned by SoftBank Group, in a $600 million deal. (Bloomberg)

• Insurance company Anthem last week announced a partnership with blockchain-based artificial intelligence platform doc.ai in which advisers from doc.ai and Harvard Medical School will study whether artificial intelligence can predict when people will suffer allergic reactions. DLA Piper said it advised doc.ai. (Healthcare Dive)

• DLA Piper also said it advised Franklin Templeton Investments on its investment into Optoro, the Washington-headquartered returns optimization specialist, in a $75 million equity funding round that included other investors. (Global Newswire)


Laterals, Moves

• Perkins Coie added Edwin M. Baum and Alan B. Howard as commercial litigation partners in New York. Both were formerly at Crowell & Moring. (PerkinsCoie.com)

• Richmond-based LeClairRyan added a patent prosecution group to its Sacramento office from virtual firm FisherBroyles, including three attorneys and five professional staff. The group is led by partners Charles Yang and John Yang, who both moved to FisherBroyles a year ago when that firm acquired their boutique, Ntellect Law. (PR Newswire)



• An increasing number of U.S. states are hiring chief privacy and data officers to help avoid data privacy missteps. (Bloomberg Law)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Tom Taylor.