We often compare law firm mergers to weddings. And other folks do, too.
So if law firm mergers are marriages, how do they get consummated? Enough about the wedding; what about the honeymoon?
One ATL reader had some thoughts on the matter:
Sorry to continue to batter you with sexual innuendo, but Law.com — which told us yesterday that “size does matter” — is at it again.
“Maybe you’ve heard about The Big ‘O’ — the green one that’s as dear to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe as the swoosh is to Nike.”
“The Big O” — for Orrick. Not to be confused, notes our correspondent, with “that special place between a first date and a shotgun wedding.”
(A double entendre in the lede — how risqué! If you’re still not getting it, click here, third item down.)
Apparently Orrick decided it would let Dewey Ballantine have the right side of the bed — err, firm name — as long as Orrick got to gloat about its big “O.” Voila, Dewey Orrick is born, with Orrick’s big green “O” as the logo of their love.
Here’s where Law.com goes a little overboard — and by overboard, I mean “How can we turn the most innocuous sentence into proclamations of much glorious sexytime”:
“Orrick put a lot of time and energy — and symbolism — into that simple circle.”
“Because the O is analogous to circle, it’s a continuum that has all kinds of evocative power,” said Norm Rubenstein, who was Orrick’s chief marketing officer when the mark was designed. “It also suggests the globe, which signifies the firm’s global reach.”
I may be mistaken about what Norm means by “the firm’s global reach,” but I’m sure that when combined with “a lot of time and energy,” it has “evocative power.”
Well! And finally, for filing under “too much information,” our reader adds:
For the record, if Law.com really wants to know, I have indeed heard of the big “O.” Unfortunately for my wife, she has not. Thank God for iron-clad prenuptial agreements.
Personnel changes are everywhere today — and not just on Capitol Hill and at the Pentagon. Some notable moves within the legal profession: Lateral Moves:
* Private equity and M&A lawyer Dennis Barsky, to Jones Day, from Weil, Gotshal & Manges.
* Corporate lawyer Jonathan Stapleton and investment-funds lawyer Margaret Paradis, to Baker & McKenzie (NY), from Arnold & Porter and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, respectively.
* Insurance and financial services lawyer Chiu-Ti Jansen, to Sidley Austin, from LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae. Government to Private Sector:
* Marc Agnifilo, former head of the violent and organized crime unit in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for New Jersey, is joining Brafman and Associates. Yes, that Brafman — renowned criminal defense lawyer Benjamin Brafman, Diddy-defending attorney to the stars.
(Disclosure: Marc Agnifilo is a former colleague of ours, as well as a tremendously experienced and exceptionally talented lawyer. He has a fantastic sense of humor. And he’s the nephew of celebrated writer Don DeLillo.) Firm Adds Two NY Corporate Partners [NYLawyer.com] NY Private Equity Partner Switches Firms [NYLawyer.com] NY Lawyers On the Move [NYLawyer.com] Baker & McKenzie LLP Announces Ambitious New Strategy and Leadership Team in New York [Baker & McKenzie]
A few moves within the legal profession worth noting: Legal Academia:
* Tax law professor Neil Buchanan, to GW, from Rutgers-Newark, effective January 2007. (Gavel Bang: TaxProf Blog.) Lateral Law Firm Moves:
* Corporate lawyer Carey Schreiber, to Winston & Strawn, from Dewey Ballantine.
* Corporate lawyer Jeffrey Katz, to Dechert (as a partner), from Milbank Tweed (where he was a senior attorney). New Partners:
* King & Spalding has named twelve new partners. Have a friend who was up this year? See if they made it by reviewing the firm’s press release.
Although they don’t involve moves, while we’re on the subject of law firm employment (and King & Spalding), here are two interesting items from the WSJ Law Blog:
This will take effect as of 2008, when Richard Hays takes over as Alston & Bird’s managing partner. Robert Hays is currently chair of King & Spalding. See alsohere.
2. Spurned Orrick Associate Sues Firm: “At the same time that it’s talking merger with Dewey Ballantine, west-coast powerhouse Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe is defending a suit by a former associate who claims the firm fraudulently promised to make him a partner.”
* Gay marriages legally-cognizable-relationships-that-will-probably-get-called-civil-unions are coming to New Jersey.
* Superstar lawyer Ted Olson, who is not gay, got married — to a lovely lady named Lady. And ATL has the exclusive photos to prove it.
* Law firms are tying the knot too. The latest to head for the altar: Dewey Ballantine and Orrick.
* Things are going less smoothly for celebrities. Country music star Sara Evans is getting divorced. Jane Pauley is filing suit. Naomi Campbell is getting arrested. And Foxy Brown is getting sentenced.
* Paralegal pay ain’t half bad, as long as you work for Biglaw — and put in lots of overtime.
* Think grammar and punctuation are silly and useless? Listen to the cautionary tale of the costly comma.
* Justice Scalia: You like him, you really like him!
* As for your Least Favorite Supreme Court Justice, we’ll keep the polls open over the weekend. To vote, click here.
* And if you’d like to cast a ballot in a more frivolous poll, help Judge Janice Rogers Brown pick a hairstyle. To vote, click here.
Yesterday, the executive committees of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP of San Francisco and Dewey Ballantine LLP of New York approved the main terms of a merger. The combined firm, to be called Dewey Orrick LLP, would have more than 1,500 lawyers and rank among the 15 largest U.S.-based law firms in terms of lawyers if the merger is approved by the firms’ partners, who are due to vote later this year.
The merger will probably be approved, although there are some potential snags. From The American Lawyer:
One key issue: how many of the firm’s partners will have full equity status. Combined, the firms now have about 260 equity partners and 155 non-equity, most of those at Orrick, according to figures published in the May issue of The American Lawyer. A shake-up in status will lead some partners to seek other opportunities and could produce a feeding frenzy by legal recruiters.
The media coverage contains some good gossip about both firms. More excerpts and discussion, after the jump.
While we have your attention, we’d like to invite any readers who work at either firm to drop us a line and give us the inside scoop. How is the possible merger being received by your colleagues? Are people excited or apprehensive? Is the other firm seen as a worthy merger partner? Speak now, or forever hold your peace.
Supreme Court Scions:
* Janet Rehnquist, daughter of the late Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, is leaving Venable to start her own health care law practice. She will be based out of the Washington offices of Arent Fox.
Rehnquist previously served as Inspector General of the Health and Human Services Department, before she resigned amid controversy. It was rumored that Chief Justice Rehnquist was upset over how his daughter’s departure from HHS was handled.
Janet Rehnquist isn’t the only SCOTUS spawn with a successful legal career. Her brother, James Rehnquist, is a litigation partner at Goodwin Procter and a former federal prosecutor. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s daughter, Jane Ginsburg, is a law professor at Columbia. And one of Justice Antonin Scalia’s sons, Eugene Scalia, is a partner at high-powered Gibson Dunn, a former Solicitor of the Department of Labor — and an ERISA hottie. Damage Control:
* Jon Hoak, former general counsel to NCR, joins HP as its chief ethics and compliance officer. Lateral Moves:
* Hedge fund lawyer Bruce Kahne, to Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham, from Seward & Kissel.
* Corporate and securities lawyer Daniel Raglan, to Greenberg Traurig, from Sullivan & Cromwell (where he was an associate).
* Public finance lawyers Pauline Schneider and Darrin Glymph, to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (DC), from Hunton & Williams. (Schneider, a former D.C. bar president, comes in as a partner; Glymph joins as counsel.) NY Partners Switching Firms [NYLawyer.com] Supreme Daughter Hangs Out Her Own Shingle and More DC Lawyers On the Move [NYLawyer.com] H-P Hires Former NCR General Counsel As Chief Ethics Officer [WSJ Law Blog]
Oodles of juicy moves today, especially out of and into the federal government. As the leaves change, so do the lawyers. Government to Private Sector:
* Federal prosecutor John Hueston, a leader of the team that prosecuted Enron execs Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, is heading for the greener pastures of Irell & Manella.
All around the country, AUSAs with white-collar criminal experience are leaving U.S. Attorney’s Offices — including our former workplace — for the more lucrative precincts of private practice. The trend is especially pronounced in the legendary Southern District of New York, as noted by Anna Schneider-Mayerson. Private Sector to Government:
* Corporate and securities lawyer Michael Halloran, a partner at Pillsbury Winthrop, has been appointed to serve as deputy chief of staff and counselor to Christopher Cox, chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Lateral Moves:
* Broker-dealer compliance specialist Steven Lofchie, to Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, from Davis Polk & Wardwell. (In this day and age, compliance is a hot area. We’re guessing Lofchie got offered a nice deal.)
* Tax lawyer John Narducci, to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, from White & Case.
* IP lawyer Robert Wasnofski Jr., to Dorsey & Whitney, from Baker Botts.
* M&A lawyer Sandy Feldman, to Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham, from Torys. Retirements:
* Plaintiffs’ lawyer Alan Schulman, of Bernstein, Litowitz — and formerly of the indicted Milberg Weiss — is retiring at the end of the year. Not Going Anywhere — Yet:
* Apple CEO Steve Jobs and HP CEO Mark Hurd are sticking around — despite the problems that their companies face. NY Practice Leader Leaves One Elite NY Firm for Another [NYLawyer.com] More NY Partners Switching Firms [NYLawyer.com] Milberg Weiss: Merger Talks Break Down; An Alum Retires [WSJ Law Blog] Enron Prosecutor John Hueston to Join Irell & Manella [WSJ Law Blog] The Gang That Shot Straight Is Disbanding, For a Profit [New York Observer]
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We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
• 2nd to 5th year mandarin fluent M&A associates needed in Beijing and Hong Kong at several firms;
• Korean fluent 2nd to 4th year cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 5th year Japanese fluent M&A associates needed in Tokyo;
• 4th to 6th year mandarin fluent cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 4th year M&A / cap markets mix associate needed in Singapore.
The last time I flapped my wings your way, I tried to make at least enough noise about your mobile phone to make you more than a little bit uncomfortable. I hope I did. If enough of us become anxious enough about the known and unknown unknowns and knowns in our mobile phones, then we can start making wise decisions about how to manage that information and its resultant investigations.
Today, I’d like to put a finer point on the last installment’s topic by asking a question that seemed to catch most attendees off-guard at a conference panel that I moderated last week: is there discoverable personal information in a mobile app? Our panelists’ answer was a uniform “yes” with one stating that, if he had to choose only one type of data that he could discover from a mobile phone, he’d choose app data. Why? Because there’s simply so much of it and because almost all of it is objective – not just user-created like an email – but machine-tracked like GPS, usage duration, log in and log out times, browsed web addresses, browsed actual addresses. Also, most of us seem to have the idea that data doesn’t actually “stick” to our mobile devices the way it “sticks” to our hard drives. Maybe there’s a disconnect based on the fact that our phones are mobile so we assume the data is mobile to?
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