Wake Up Call: WilmerHale Lawyer Mistakenly Leaks Secret Docs to WSJ

• A WilmerHale lawyer inadvertently handed a Wall Street Journal reporter a scoop on an SEC investigation into the dismissal of PepsiCo’s former general counsel Maura Smith in 2012.  The lawyer “mistakenly” emailed the reporter confidential documents intended for other lawyers at the firm. PepsiCo denied it violated whistle-blower laws by firing Smith in retaliation, amidst allegations of wrongdoing at the company. (Wall Street Journal) (National Law Journal)

• The Senate confirmed Makan Delrahim to lead the Justice Department’s antitrust division, as two blockbuster mergers await his review: AT&T Inc.’s takeover of Time Warner Inc. and Bayer AG’s deal for Monsanto Co. President Donald Trump nominated Delrahim, previously a deputy in Trump’s Office of White House Counsel, back in March, but Democratics opposing confirmation cited his corporate lobbying work while a partner at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck.  Meanwhile, the other U.S. agency with antitrust jurisdiction, the Federal Trade Commission, still lacks a permanent leader. (Bloomberg) (Recode)

• Dentons is set to hold a vote on a tie-up that would combine Uganda’s biggest law firm with the world’s biggest firm by headcount, in Dentons’ latest move to expand in Africa. (BLB)

• Deloitte, the sprawling business service consultancy, confirmed that hackers breached its email system earlier this year. The attack on Deloitte comes as it and other Big Four firms are increasingly competing with law firms to provide legal services to corporate clients. (BLB)

• Cozen O’Connor is reported to have reached a late-night deal to acquire the 10-lawyer Santa Monica, California, real estate firm Gilchrist & Rutter, to expand its own real estate group. The merger is set to take effect Oct. 1. (Philadelphia Business Journal) Law firm mergers remain on a record pace, recent reports show. (Am Law Daily)

• Marsh & McLennan Companies, the professional services firm, said it hired Katherine Brennan as deputy general counsel, corporate secretary and chief compliance office, to be based in New York. Brennan most recently was senior vice president, deputy general counsel and corporate secretary at S&P Global, which was formerly McGraw Hill Financial. (Intelligent Insurer)

• Online game developer Zynga hired a new chief legal officer, Phuong Phillips, who was previously associate general counsel at Tesla. She replaces Devang Shah, who left Zynga in April after seven years. (The Recorder)

 

 

Legal Market

• Trump firm Kasowitz Benson Torres said it will appeal after a Florida judge allowed a billing fraud complaint against the firm to proceed. (New York Law Journal)

• Congressional Democrats are using major scandals at Equifax Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co. to ramp up their push to stop Republicans from killing a controversial rule that would make it easier for consumers to sue financial firms. (Bloomberg)

• Trump’s travel bans have fueled growth for the International Refugee Assistance Project, and a powerful response from its pro bono network of law students and attorneys. (Bloomberg via BLB)

• Five facts about criminal defense lawyer Christopher Mead, the lawyer Sean Spicer hired to advise him amidst special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. (Bloomberg BNA via BLB)

• Does college basketball’s economy breed crooks? Q&A (Bloomberg)

• As hundreds of attorneys gathered in San Francisco for an annual “asbestos summit,” some expressed support for improving transparency on asbestos trusts. (Huffington Post)

 

Legal Actions

• Uber Technologies Inc.’s global legal battles returned to a London court, as the ride-sharing company continued to fight attempts by regulators and taxi drivers to force it to pay overtime and vacation pay. (Bloomberg) SoftBank Group Corp. has overcome a major obstacle to its planned multi billion-dollar investment in Uber, agreeing to block any attempts to elevate Travis Kalanick, Uber’s controversial former leader, back to the company’s top ranks, according to people familiar with the discussions. (Bloomberg)

• Boeing Co.’s trade legal action against much smaller Canadian rival Bombardier Inc. makes Boeing seem like both the playground bully and the class snitch. (Bloomberg Businessweek)

• New York-based coat maker Fleet Street Ltd. filed a complaint against the Vince Camuto Group to the American Arbitration Association, alleging the fashion label breached their contract by giving its coat business to the group’s new Canadian owner. (New York Post)

 

Regulators and Enforcement

• Federal investigators expanded a probe into alleged insurance fraud by personal injury attorneys in South Florida. (Daily Business Review)

• Lynn Tilton, whose aggressive management style made her a success on male-dominated Wall Street, won a Securities and Exchange Commission trial she’d spent months fighting to avoid. (Bloomberg via BLB)

 

Happening in SCOTUS and Other Courts

• The U.S. Supreme Court stayed the execution of a Georgia inmate after his attorneys raised questions of racial bias in the case. (Washington Post)

• The candidancy for a U.S. Senate seat of Alabama Republican Roy Moore, a lawyer and twice-suspended judge, is a serious threat to the Constitution and the rule of law, writes constitutional scholar Noah Feldman. (Bloomberg View)

 

 

Laterals, Moves, Law Firm Work

• Intellectual property firm Brinks Gilson & Lione announced it hired “an incoming class” of eight law school graduates, including six women, to become associates at the firm after they are admitted to the bar. (Global Newswire)

• Malvern Bancorp, Inc., parent company of Malvern Federal Savings Bank, said it appointed Rona E. Korman, of West Orange, New Jersey, as senior vice president and general counsel for the bank. (Nasdaq)

• Montreal-based Fix Auto World said it appointed veteran lawyer Jeffrey Lieberman for the newly created role of vice president, legal affairs and general counsel. (Body Shop Business)

 

 

Technology

• The new CEO of Equifax Inc. says the credit-reporting agency will debut a new service that will permanently give consumers the ability to lock and unlock their credit for free. (Bloomberg)

• Remote attacks on ATMs are increasing as hackers aim to steal cash with a less hands-on approach. (Gizmodo)

• After Facebook faced a grilling, it’s Twitter’s turn to answer questions from a Senate committee investigating Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election. (Politico)

• Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded to Trump’s accusation of bias, saying both sides of the political spectrum criticized the social network in the same ways.  (Bloomberg)

• LexBlog said it plans to license its digital design and publishing platform to law firms, bar associations, web development companies, marketing agencies and other legal publishers. (ABA Journal)

 

 

Legal Education

• With the $300 billion Space industry expected to more than triple in the next decade, lawyers with space expertise could see more work, said professor Mark Sundahl, director of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law’s new Global Space Law Center. (Law.com)

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