You’ll be exposed to some interesting tweets — like this one, from over the weekend:
isaac larian, mga owner+adverse party in “bratz” case, showed up at my trial this week; claimed witness was being signaled from audience!
Bizarre — especially since the trial that Larian attended has nothing to do with the ongoing Barbie / Bratz litigation (in which Quinn represents Barbie maker Mattel against Isaac Larian’s company, Bratz maker MGA). The trial that Larian randomly appeared at is in the case of Bren v. Bren, a child support action brought against billionaire Donald Bren, Quinn’s client.
* We know you love rankings. Here are the top 25 national universities and liberal arts colleges, according to the 2011 U.S. News college rankings. [TaxProf Blog]
* CHECK YOU ETHICS? In the seemingly endless Barbie/Bratz litigation, lawyers from Orrick, which now represents Bratz maker MGA, have accused Mattel lawyers from Quinn Emanuel of participating in an elaborate corporate espionage scheme. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Give her a gold-plated gavel: Wisconsin Law professor Victoria Nourse, nominated to the Seventh Circuit, has a net worth of almost $20 million. [The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times]
* Do you hate parking boots? So does this guy — and his taking a stand against them might bring about legal change in the U.K. [AltTransport]
We’ve gotten away from plowing through the latest Vault Rankings, but fear not. Your firm is coming up soon.
We’ve been through the top 30 firms. But now we’re getting into a group of firms that really utilized the cost-cutting measures of salary cuts and layoffs to weather the recession of 2009. Did these guys take a big prestige hit? Not really. Here’s the next batch of firms:
Let’s be honest: although we strive to bring you the inside scoop about major law firms around the country, we don’t usually report on new law firm Chief Financial Officers. But the new CFO at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, Linda Havard, is special. Check out her prior experience, from Orrick’s press release announcing the new hire:
Most recently, Linda served for 13 years as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Playboy Enterprises, Inc. in Chicago where she oversaw all areas of finance and technology including accounting, treasury, tax, insurance, strategic planning, M&A, internal audit and corporate development. Approximately 40 percent of Playboy’s revenue came from outside of the U.S., where the company had significant business operations in the UK and Latin America, and licensing operations in Europe and Asia. The company also completed a number of acquisitions during her tenure, as well as public and private equity and debt offerings. Linda led all areas of due diligence, negotiation, execution, and subsequent integration of major global transactions.
I’m going to go out and limb and say that after 13 years at Playboy, Havard is more then ready to handle any sexism Biglaw might have to dish out…
A tale of three nominees (left to right): John Roberts, Harriet Miers and Samuel Alito.
Last night I headed across town to NYU Law School for a screening of Advise & Dissent, a new documentary about the Supreme Court confirmation process. Here’s a brief description of the film:
ADVISE & DISSENT is the first documentary to go behind the lines and into the trenches of the judicial confirmation wars. SCOTUSblog has called it “a fascinating, balanced insider look,” and Politico named it “a must see.” Timely and timeless, the film illuminates the collision of politics and justice.
Last night’s showing of the movie was followed by a conversation, featuring the following participants:
Are profits per partner the appropriate metric to measure law firm success? It’s been a long time since firms seriously looked at the question. I didn’t know my Skadden from my Sullivan back when American Lawyer founder Steve Brill first started shining a light on the black box of top American law firms back in 1987.
For as long as most of us can remember, PPP has been the definition of law firm financial success. And despite all of the pressure on the law firm business model over the past couple of years, PPP seems as resilient as ever. We can scream about the billable hour, we can change the nature of associate compensation, but there aren’t a lot of people giving us a better statistic than profits per partner to talk about when it comes to the success of the law firm business model.
Last summer, we reported that Orrick would be moving into fancy new offices in New York. Earlier this week, the office move took place. From the firm’s press release:
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP has moved its New York office to 51 West 52nd Street, the same building that houses CBS headquarters and which is also known as Black Rock. The innovative design of the space reflects Orrick’s progressive culture, integrating technological, environmental and social advantages that enable the firm to better and more efficiently serve its clients.
Non-traditional features for law firms are incorporated throughout the office. Numerous public spaces, transparent glass office fronts and an open floor plan, with low-height components for greater visibility and interaction among staff, contribute to a sense of community. To better connect with other offices and clients, Orrick invested in state-of-the-art telepresence conferencing equipment.
As it turns out, the Orrick offices have a Telepresence Room — not to be confused with the Cryogenic Room, where Ralph Baxter plans to live forever.
In yesterday’s post about the departure of D.C. power broker Lanny Davis from McDermott Will & Emery, a firm he joined a little over six months ago, we put out a request for more information. That request was promptly answered — by none other than Lanny Davis himself.
The drama lover in us was hoping for an epic tale of office intrigue and power struggle at McDermott Will (and commenters were happy to speculate). As it turns out, however, the parting of Davis and MWE is quite amicable — and far from total. As Davis explained to us, he’s setting up his own shop, but he will continue to work closely with McDermott lawyers, serving McDermott clients. In fact, Davis isn’t even leaving the building (so no office exorcism necessary).
What’s going on here? Information from our chat with Lanny Davis, plus the complete press release mentioned previously by the Washington Post, after the jump.
Now, just a few months later, it appears that Davis is striking out on his own. From the Washington Post:
Lanny J. Davis, the former White House counsel and longtime Clinton booster, is launching his own eponymous law-and-lobbying shop, according to a draft announcement obtained by The Post. Lanny J. Davis & Associates LLP will provide “a unique combination of traditional legal and litigation services plus media/crisis management, and legislative/public policy strategies to solve U.S. and international client problems,” the announcement says. Davis, a cable television staple who has often run afoul of more liberal Democrats, highlights his avowed centrism as a prime benefit for potential clients….
The new venture means Davis will step down as partner at the global law firm of McDermott Will & Emery, but he says he will continue to write a column for “The Hill” newspaper and contribute to a legal strategies blog that he began last year.
We reached out to McDermott, and a firm spokesperson confirmed that Davis is leaving the firm.
So who else is going with him, and what prompted the move?
A number of firms have adopted a merit-based pay structure, and other firms claim they want to. But few firms have thought through how to make a merit-based structure work as much as Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe has. And nobody is addressing the new scheme with quite as much transparency.
Orrick sent around its merit-based bonus memo today. If you have gotten used to firms using merit compensation to hide what they are paying their people, prepare to be surprised:
82% of all US associates received a bonus. As previously communicated, we did not apply an hours threshold in determining bonus eligibility.
The following tables provide information about our US 2009 bonus distribution by new talent model role for all US associates.
That’s right, Orrick actually provided a chart showing the general bonus payouts to its associates. This is not entirely new — Latham comes to mind — but it’s certainly nice. Here are the overall numbers:
Do you want more transparency? Orrick has you covered.
The firm even provided a bonus comparison chart, so its employees know where they stand.
Watch to find out what some of our subscribers received in their May box!
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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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