Wake Up Call: Wells Fargo Said to Hire Sidley as Senate Hearing Looms

• As the chief executives of Wells Fargo & Co. and Equifax Inc. get ready to testify before the Senate Banking Committee in October, Wells Fargo is said to have hired law firm Sidley Austin to lead the preparation of Chief Executive Tim Sloan for his appearance. (Bloomberg BNA) (Reuters)

• Uber has a plate-full of legal problems in London. On one hand, it’s getting ready to appeal a landmark U.K. employment case that will test the issue of whether its drivers are workers or self-employed. (Financial Times) On the other hand, the ride-hailing company looks ready to make concessions to restore its revoked London taxi license, two days after it vowed to fight the suspension in court. (Bloomberg)

• As China’s outbound investment has surged, with several multibillion dollar deals completed in the U.S. in recent years, the country’s law firms could follow their clients overseas, a Harvard scholar’s new paper suggests. (BLB)

• President Donald Trump ordered restrictions or suspensions on travel to the U.S. from eight countries, replacing his ban on travelers from six Muslim-majority nations that had been limited by court challenges. (Bloomberg) With the new ban — which adds North Korea, Venezuela and Chad to the list of countries facing restrictions — Trump opens himself to what could be a new wave of legal challenges. (Bloomberg)

• If someone files a discrimination lawsuit against Fox News, there’s a good chance Douglas Wigdor is behind it. Wigdor is a Trump-loving, former Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP lawyer, who now runs his own Manhattan-based firm. (Bloomberg)

 

Legal Market

• Silicon Valley spent over a decade finding ways to give company founders more control. When Facebook Inc. tried to follow suit, shareholders pushed back, and now founder Mark Zuckerberg has backed down days before a class action lawsuit challenging the move was set to go to trial. (Bloomberg) Former President Barack Obama personally tried to get Zuckerberg to take seriously the risk that the social network could be used for disinformation campaigns by foreign forces to sway U.S. elections. (Washington Post)

• Mayer Brown LLP, until fairly recently, represented Chinese and other foreign makers of solar panels in trade disputes with U.S. companies. Now, in a “spectacular” shift, the firm is representing a bankrupt U.S. manufacturer in a case that could have global implications. (National Law Journal)

• The Democratic attorney general of Kentucky said he hired four law firms to investigate and possibly sue several makers and marketers of opioid-based painkillers linked to addiction problems in Appalachia. However, a spokesman for the state’s Republican governor raised questions about the hires. (Associated Press via U.S. News & World Report)

• Democratic attorneys general are planning to spend $10 million to $15 million to elect more of their own next year, as part of a plan to take on the Trump administration. (Politico)

 

 

Legal Actions

• Johnson & Johnson has known for decades that its talc products include asbestos fibers and that the exposure to those fibers can cause ovarian cancer, recently unsealed plaintiffs’ documents contend. (Bloomberg)

• Equifax Inc.’s legal problems are growing over its massive data breach. The credit-reporting company now faces class actions filed by small businesses, including a law firm and a credit union. (National Law Journal)

• Conservatives have managed to make progress on improving legal defense for the poor by recasting the issue as part of the fight against big government. (Politico)

• Winston & Strawn and Latham & Watkins are headed for battle over the management of pro U.S. soccer. Winston partner Jeffrey Kessler filed a federal antitrust suit against the U.S. Soccer Federation, the governing body, on behalf of the fledgling North American Soccer League. The Chicago-based USSF is getting advice from Latham, which has links to the federation and Major League Soccer, the top U.S. league. (Am Law Daily)

• Instagram’s most beloved cookie dough confectioner is facing a proposed class action alleging the not-baked goods cause food-borne illness. (Bloomberg)

 

 

 

The Trump Administration

• The Trump administration on Friday scrapped Obama-era guidance on investigating campus sexual assault, replacing it with new instructions that allow universities to require higher standards of evidence when handling complaints. (Bloomberg)

• Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner used a personal email account in addition to his White House one to communicate with other White House officials, his lawyer said. (Bloomberg)

 

Happening in SCOTUS and Other Courts

• The U.K.’s Brexit Secretary David Davis said the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice will end when his country exits the bloc in 2019, redrawing a red line that had been left vague by Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit speech. (Bloomberg)

 

Laterals, Moves, Law Firm Work

• Clyde & Co hired two associates away from rivals in London, to become partners at the firm. Energy lawyer Alejandro Garcia came from Winston & Strawn, while Tim Crockford, with experience in professional indemnity claims, came from Gowling WLG. (Commercial Dispute Resolution)

• Winston & Strawn said it hired three new directors for its team aimed at building the firm’s strategy and structure for recruiting and developing legal talent. (Am Law Daily)

• Two former attorneys at Oblon, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt LLP launched a new international patent shop, Grüneberg and Myers PLLC, in Virginia. (IP Watchdog)

• The Florida Municipal Power Agency — a wholesale power agency jointly owned by 31 municipal power companies — named Jody Lamar Finklea as its new general counsel and chief legal officer, to take over from the retiring Fred Bryant. (Florida Politics)

 

Technology

• The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission hails its database of company filings as an innovation that’s dramatically boosted corporate transparency. But a hack that led to the theft of market-moving secrets is the latest sign that technology also brings dangers the SEC is struggling to combat. (Bloomberg via BLB)

• New guidance for issuing digital currencies in Canada may make them safer for investors but they’ve also prompted one company to shun its home country as it kicks off one of the largest initial coin offerings to date. (Bloomberg)

• A federal judge last week partially voided a Federal Trade Commission finding that Taiwanese device manufacturer D-Link Systems Inc. committed an unfair and deceptive business practice by selling routers with known security weaknesses.  (The Recorder)

• Financial organizations are struggling to get their technology strategies in line with new European Union regulatory obligations for communications set to take effect in January under the new EU Markets in Financial Instruments Directive. (Legaltech News)

 

Legal Education

• Who’s liable for a traffic accident on the moon? Competitors in the University of Mississippi School of Law’s space and aeronautical law program space law court competition are considering the question. (NPR)

Compiled by Rick Mitchell and edited by Casey Sullivan.

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