Law Firm Mergers

  • Keila Ravelo

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 08.26.15

    * Melvin Feliz, husband of Keila Ravelo, the partner who allegedly bilked Hunton & Williams and Willkie Farr out of millions to lead a life of luxury, pleaded guilty in the fraud case brought against him. Is she a prospective Real Housewife of Cellblock D? [Bergen Record]

    * Sorry, Southwest passengers, but the Seventh Circuit says you’re stuck with your free drink vouchers, and the lawyers who represented you in this class-action suit are stuck with their $1.65 million. No one is happy up in the unfriendly skies. [Associated Press]

    * China’s economy may be on the brink, but that doesn’t matter to Dentons. The firm is as happy as ever about its proposed merger with Dacheng because it really wants a horde of lawyers, so it’s gonna get one. It’s “almost absurd” to think otherwise. [Am Law Daily]

    * As we mentioned yesterday, lawyers work too damn much — so much, in fact, that they’re quitting their Biglaw jobs, starting competitor practices, and poaching talent from top firms by offering them a sense of work-life balance. [Harvard Business Review]

    * Kevin Fagan, perhaps better known as Juror 83 in the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev trial, is speaking to the media about his experience, and says he might’ve changed his death penalty vote if he had known the youngest victim’s parents opposed it. [WSJ Law Blog]

    32 Comments / / Aug 26, 2015 at 8:58 AM
  • Peter Kalis 2 KL Gates

    Biglaw, Lateral Moves, Partner Issues, Partner Profits

    Déjà Vu All Over Again: Peter Kalis Of K&L Gates Strikes Back At Law360

    Peter Kalis has some sick burns for Law360, which he claims “is not taken seriously as a journalistic organ.”

    16 Comments / / Jul 30, 2015 at 4:16 PM
  • ArrowGoingDown

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 07.28.15

    * Despite the fact that the 25/75 percentile LSAT range for many law schools has dropped precipitously, some schools still care about LSAT scores — because they care about you (and their U.S. News rank). [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

    * Maryland Law and Baltimore Law are going to be teaming up to launch a solo practice incubator for their recent graduates, and BC, BU, and Northeastern will be doing the same thing in 2016. Full-time, long-term jobs where bar passage is required for all! [National Law Journal]

    * The Dacheng Dentons merger has the potential to completely change the legal profession as we know it, or fall flat on its face and be remembered as a good idea that went wrong. It’s been six months, and we’re all still waiting to see what happens. [Financial Times]

    * The criminal case against ex-Goldman Sachs programmer Sergey Aleynikov is like the Energizer bunny in that it keeps going, and going, and going, and going. Manhattan DA Cy Vance is appealing Aleynikov’s overturned conviction. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * “The unfortunate scenario alleged in the complaint cries out for a legislative fix, not a judicial nix.” As expected, terminally ill civil rights attorney Christy McDonnell’s right-to-die lawsuit was dismissed by a California judge yesterday. How depressing. [AP]

    8 Comments / / Jul 28, 2015 at 8:50 AM
  • gates gate hand door open

    Biglaw, Lateral Moves, Partner Issues, Partner Profits

    Barbarians At The K&L Gates?

    Partner departures, staff layoffs, and an office closing, oh my.

    18 Comments / / Jul 23, 2015 at 5:40 PM
  • Willie Nelson (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 07.22.15

    * “Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys potheads.” Country singer-songwriter and OG stoner Willie Nelson says marijuana will be legal in all 50 states within the next decade. Who knows, maybe his cannabis-crazed dreams will come true. [San Antonio Express-News]

    * Where do lonely hearts go? To court. This ex-Illinois Law student was accused of stalking a classmate and barred setting foot on campus for a two-year time period. A new trial was ordered, and now he may be able to graduate. Yay? [National Law Journal]

    * Law firms of all sizes are merging at a record pace, but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to continue like this ad infinitum. Eventually, all of the fun is going to stop, and it’ll likely because there isn’t any more profitability to be had for these firms. Womp. [Am Law Daily]

    * Corporate legal departments are pushing for more diversity among their ranks, with companies like Xerox leading the way. NAPABA is hopeful that we’ll see 20 Asian-American lawyers as general counsel of Fortune 500 companies by 2020. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * For a man who wanted to “get rich or die tryin,” things don’t seem to be working out so well: Bankrupt rapper 50 Cent was busy denying ownership of many of his luxury items in court this week. He says he rents, borrows, and leases most of his bling. [Associated Press]

    14 Comments / / Jul 22, 2015 at 9:01 AM
  • Some change for future of legal education.

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 07.07.15

    * Vikram Amar, the incoming dean of the University of Illinois College of Law, says that he demanded a pay cut before taking the job to help make legal education more affordable for students. The piddling amount of money he’ll be sacrificing will absolutely infuriate you. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * When law firms break up and partners attack, it can sometimes be pretty entertaining (and a little sad, all at the same time). In this case, former partners have accused each other of being mentally unstable and going online shopping for hours instead of practicing law. [Daily Business Review]

    * In case you don’t remember the law school lawsuits about deceptive employment stats, some of them are still alive and kicking. One of the last surviving suits against Widener Law was recently denied class certification. [New Jersey Law Journal via ABA Journal]

    * Per Altman Weil MergerLine, 2015 is on pace to be a record year for law firm mergers. Statements like this have been made since the recession, but this time, it’s the highest number of mergers recorded in the company’s history. [Crain’s Cleveland Business]

    * According to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the legal sector lost 800 jobs in June. That’s not exactly a comforting thought for those of you who are studying for the bar exam and don’t have a job lined up yet. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]

    28 Comments / / Jul 7, 2015 at 8:57 AM
  • merger law firm merger

    Biglaw, Law Firm Mergers

    Law Firm Giant Adds Thousands Of Lawyers, Eyes Even More

    Massive law firm says it plans to keep on growing.

    31 Comments / / Jul 1, 2015 at 12:59 PM
  • Sorry, summers, but this is going away soon.

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 06.30.15

    * Which Biglaw firm is going to be changing up the way that it recruits new attorneys? That would be Quinn Emanuel. It’s planning to majorly scale back on summer associates and do something completely different. We’ll have more on this news later today. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * An undergrad who once had high hopes for law school decided to ditch his legal aspirations in favor of stand-up comedy. His mom is mad since it’s a “path that has no specific stability.” She obviously hasn’t read up on law school job stats lately. [Indy Channel]

    * Justice Kennedy should consider trading in his robes for a superhero’s cape, because he just swooped in to the rescue, again. With a 5-4 vote, SCOTUS stayed the Fifth Circuit’s decision regarding the closure of the majority of abortion clinics in Texas. [NPR]

    * Damn you, Dewey leaders! Per recent testimony in the criminal trial of the failed firm’s former top brass, but for news of the criminal probe spreading like wildfire throughout the profession, D&L could’ve merged with any number of firms to save itself. [Am Law Daily]

    * Some pretty major firms think they have better things to spend their Biglaw bucks on than donations to legal aid organizations. Only five firms were willing to publicly disclose more than $1 million in donations. [DealBook / New York Times via American Lawyer]

    10 Comments / / Jun 30, 2015 at 9:01 AM
  • Damn Dewey dollars...

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 06.02.15

    * McDermott Will & Emery poached six partners from K&L Gates as part of its Dallas office “re-launch.” Their poor paralegals: Right now, the lawyers are working in temporary offices, and don’t have access to land lines. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Dean Paul Mahoney of UVA Law announced he’ll be stepping down from his position on June 30, 2016, after eight years of dedicated service to the school. Law students, please lower your collars to a half-pop in light of this news. [UVA Today]

    * Dewey think these defendants are full of themselves? The former leaders of this failed firm had insane and enviable compensation packages, but that doesn’t mean their multimillion-dollar guarantees weren’t justified — or even deserved. [Am Law Daily]

    * Experts speculate that the Justice Department’s case against FIFA could strengthen its global power, but of course, that will hinge on whether Loretta Lynch can get RICO charges to stick for conduct that took place overseas. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * After months of going back and forth on their urge to merge, Hiscock & Barclay completed its combination with Damon Morey. The new 275-lawyer firm will be known as Barclay Damon, and could possibly become a member of the Am Law 200. [Syracuse.com]

    * Legal marijuana business need lawyers and bankers, but those willing to advise them are few and far between. If you want to join the green rush and learn how to help these people comply with the law, come to our marijuana law reception later this month. [Forbes]

    15 Comments / / Jun 2, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • Floyd Mayweather (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 05.01.15

    * Floyd Mayweather’s lawyer says that his client will post Suge Knight’s insanely high $10 million bail if he wins his fight against Manny Pacquiao. Suge says he was “really going to pull for him to win, but now [he’s] going to have to pray for him to win.” [Los Angeles Times]

    * Northwestern University School of Law is launching a first-of-its-kind loan repayment assistance program to help grads in “modestly salaried private sector jobs” — that is, if you make less than $85,000, the school will pay your loan interest for up to a year. [National Law Journal via CBS]

    * If you haven’t heard, the class of 2014 was much more employed than the class of 2013 by a factor of a few percentage points. Apply to law school right now! (No, don’t do that. The class of 2014 was smaller, so it looks like the job stats were better.) [ABA Journal]

    * “[T]he jury is out and the only sane thing you can say about Dentons is check back in three years.” Hot on the heels of the announced merger between Dentons and McKenna Long, many lawyers are running for the exits. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg BNA]

    * If you’re interested in going to law school on the east coast, then you may want to take a look at this list of schools, ranked by total employment of the class of 2014. We’d shudder to see what this list would look like if only long-term, full-time jobs were used. [BostInno]

    * A lawyer who’s suing former U.S. Representative Aaron Schock on behalf of a campaign donor says he’s been unable to locate the disgraced politician to serve him. What will happen now? We bet you can find out on the next episode of Downton Abbey. [ABC News]

    0 Comments / / May 1, 2015 at 8:55 AM
  • Michael Slager

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 04.09.15

    * That was quick! It turns out that David Aylor, the lawyer who once represented Michael Slager, the recently fired South Carolina police officer charged with murdering Walter Scott, kicked his client to the curb when he saw the damning video of the shooting. [Daily Beast]

    * Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the number of federal weapons charges county court-at-law judges rack up in a single indictment. Seventy-year-old Judge Tim Wright faces up to 70 years in prison for allegedly selling guns illegally and trafficking them to Mexico. Yeehaw! [TWC News]

    * Hot off its merger with Dacheng last quarter, Dentons is kicking off the second quarter of 2015 by merging with McKenna Long & Aldridge. Thanks to back-to-back mergers, Baker & McKenzie is now second to Dentons in terms of attorney headcount. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Warner Norcross & Judd refused to take up the defense of Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban before SCOTUS — but that didn’t stop the firm’s head of appellate litigation from getting involved. He’s now on a leave of absence from the firm. [National Law Journal]

    * For those of you who are interested, here’s the ABA Journal’s question of the week: “What was the first moment you knew you wanted to be a lawyer?” For many lawyers, the question can be answered thusly: “When I realized I couldn’t be a doctor.” [ABA Journal]

    16 Comments / / Apr 9, 2015 at 9:09 AM
  • law_school LF

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 04.08.15

    * “Take it from me, dealing with the complex criminal legal system can be difficult and intimidating for most people.” This ex-Troutman Sanders partner may be facing nine felony charges, but who cares? He’s starting his own firm. [Am Law Daily]

    * It’s kind of cute when law school deans lie to themselves to make themselves feel better. For example, the dean of Oregon Law says now is “excellent” time go to go law school, and he doesn’t make decisions “based on what moves the rankings needle.” [Daily Emerald]

    * Per the latest Altman Weil survey, the first quarter of 2015 was one of the best ever for law firm mergers. The pace with which law firms merged was the second-quickest since the company started tracking mergers to begin with in 2007. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

    * The Rutgers Board of Governors has approved of the proposed merger between Rutgers-Newark and Rutgers-Camden Law. Now they just have to wait for the ABA’s rubber stamp, which they’ll obviously get — the ABA would rubber stamp a shoe. [NJ Advance Media]

    * “[T]he law is a noble profession – but it’s also an oversubscribed one, due in large part to excessive federal lending.” Maybe if the government stopped handing out student loans like candy, law schools would be forced to lower their tuition rates. [Washington Post]

    * The University of Virginia’s chapter of Phi Kappa Psi is definitely going to try to sue Rolling Stone over its fraternity gang-rape story, but the question is whether “bad journalism [will] amount to legal liability.” What do you think about this? [WSJ Law Blog]

    89 Comments / / Apr 8, 2015 at 8:57 AM
  • pot smoking RF

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.19.15

    * A Connecticut attorney was cited for dropping two ounces of weed on a courtroom floor, and he blames it on his client’s son. They were apparently going to stage an embarrassing intervention, but it was the attorney who wound up being embarrassed. [Hartford Courant]

    * While Charleston School of Law bides its time and attempts to resist a buyout from the InfiLaw System, the school has offered many of its existing faculty members buyouts. We’ll have more on this interesting development later today. [Charleston Post & Courier]

    * Pace Law is going to slash its tuition for incoming students with qualifying GPAs and LSAT scores to match the tuition of the in-state public law school of the student’s home state. Sorry, folks, but this tuition “fire sale” is only for new students. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Hiscock & Barclay is “dating,” “not engaged,” and “not even close to to getting married” to Damon Morey. There may not be “anything close to official,” but this seems like the very hesitant precursor to an arranged marriage, if I do say so myself. [Buffalo Law Journal]

    * Per a recent study, the closer your law firm is to your law school, the more likely it is that you’ll make partner. In fact, it doesn’t even matter if you went to an elite law school — you’re still more likely to make partner if your alma mater is nearby. [New York Times]

    * Appalachian Law may be a “fourth tier” school, it may be much smaller than it once was, and it may have lowered its admissions standards, but you better believe the little law school that could is going to be just fine. Don’t stop believin’, Appalachian! [WCYB]

    22 Comments / / Mar 19, 2015 at 9:03 AM
  • dynamite

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.18.15

    * An Ohio attorney was charged with making bomb threats at two state courthouses, but only after he was indicted for allegedly making bomb threats at a third courthouse. Wow, it’s almost like this guy didn’t do his homework motions or something. [Northeast Ohio Media Group]

    * Loretta Lynch, our would-be replacement for Eric Holder as attorney general, still hasn’t been able to get confirmed, and the delay — which is being blamed on our Senate Majority Leader’s “inept leadership” — is now being referred to as “unconscionable.” Lovely. [CNN]

    * What’s happening at #ATLConverge today? Check out our Twitter feed! [Converge]

    * Earlier this week, Morgan Lewis combined with Singapore firm Stamford Law Corp. Effective April 1, ML&B will become one of the largest Biglaw firms in the world, rivaled only by the likes of Baker & McKenzie and Dacheng Dentons. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

    * More federal prosecutors are stepping down from their jobs and returning to their former Biglaw homes in private practice. Once you realize government work is a giant revolving door, soon enough, it’ll be your turn to leave. [Big Law Business / Bloomberg]

    * If you’re still making a decision about which law schools to apply to, you can use the U.S. News rankings to help yourself. In the alternative, you can use the ATL Top 50 rankings to see if you’ll be able to get a job after graduation. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

    20 Comments / / Mar 18, 2015 at 9:04 AM
  • RBG Red Cup

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.06.15

    * Per a recent Super Lawyers survey, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the Supreme Court justice with whom the nation’s top lawyers would most like to share a lunch date. Come on, admit it: you just want to get wasted with the Notorious R.B.G. [TIME]

    * Perhaps in anticipation of a SCOTUS ruling on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, states across the country are dreaming up legislation that would allow businesses to refuse service to gay couples. Man, we’re such jerks. [New York Times]

    * Taking over China with its Dacheng merger wasn’t enough for Dentons, and what’s now the largest firm in the world by attorney headcount still wants to conquer the United States. Dentons is trying to woo McKenna Long & Aldridge, again. [Am Law Daily]

    * Dewey know which firm’s ex-COO is denying knowledge of any financial funny business? Defense lawyers for D&L’s former top brass are now relying on his statements that staffers may have been inept, but surely weren’t doing anything illegal. [New York Law Journal]

    * Remember that BARBRI antitrust class-action settlement that was reached almost a decade ago? The lawyers and law firms involved are still fighting over legal fees in the case, namely how many millions they think they ought to receive. [National Law Journal]

    38 Comments / / Mar 6, 2015 at 9:06 AM
  • Canada View From Up North

    Biglaw, Canada, Law Firm Mergers

    The View From Up North: The DLA Piper/Davis Merger

    Was Davis in financial trouble prior to the announcement of its merger with DLA Piper?

    7 Comments / / Mar 4, 2015 at 12:45 PM
  • The aftermath of the bar exam?

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.03.15

    * “Taking the bar is like riding a bike. A bike that’s on fire.” Never before has there been a better way to describe what it’s like to take the bar exam. Here’s how some recent examinees were able to survive. Miraculously, no one preemptively sent a letter like this. [California Lawyer]

    * DLA Piper is entering into happily married bliss with Davis, a 260-lawyer firm from the Great White North. An April wedding is planned. The couple is registered with American Lawyer and Vault. Give them a few loads of loonies! [Am Law Daily]

    * Attorney General Eric Holder took to the op-ed pages to announce the Department of Justice’s official take on the constitutionality of marriage equality in America: “Nothing justifies excluding same-sex couples from the institution of marriage.” [USA Today]

    * Speaking of Eric Holder, the attorney general released another official announcement yesterday. Ben Mizer will take over as chief of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. (For what it’s worth, people are making a huge deal over the fact that he’s gay.) [Metro Weekly]

    * If you’ve missed a law school application deadline, don’t worry, because there are ways you can boost your chances of getting in. Having a pulse is only 98 percent of the battle — you’ll also need a tuition check. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]

    60 Comments / / Mar 3, 2015 at 9:00 AM
  • Mature Businessman Sticking Tongue Out

    Biglaw, China, In-House Counsel, Law Firm Mergers

    Gobsmacked By Dacheng Dentons

    What should we make of the latest mega-merger? Thoughts from in-house columnist Mark Herrmann.

    18 Comments / / Feb 2, 2015 at 1:46 PM