Law Firm Mergers
Besides their good looks and fame, they’re also increasing their focus on data security. In the wake of “Celebgate,” the Sony Pictures hack, and nearly daily data breaches targeting massive corporations to individuals, law firms are finally recognizing the importance of bringing their cybersecurity policies up to speed.
* When Loretta Lynch still worked at Hogan & Hartson (now known as Hogan Lovells thanks to a merger), her colleagues described her as a warm person without “a political bone in her body.” That said, best of luck to her in D.C. [National Law Journal]
* The D.C. Circuit upheld the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive opt-out plan for religious employers, but since “[t]he court is wrong,” we can count on a at least a few organizations that’ll refuse to comply. Gee, thanks a lot, Obama. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Some call the latest Biglaw tie-up “law-firm Darwinism,” but hey, “[i]t’s not like [Bingham’s] a wounded gazelle and we are pouncing on them,” says a too coy Morgan Lewis lawyer. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
* Fashion law may be a $985 billion global industry, but only five law school courses on the topic exist in the U.S. Why? “There’s no defensible reason except that fashion is perceived as a frivolous subject.” [AFP]
* This woman plans to appeal a $1 billion divorce settlement award because it’s not “fair and equitable.” In her defense, she did get a very small percentage of her ex-husband’s multibillion-dollar wealth. [People]
* Wage and hour laws have never been so sexy: Thanks to this court ruling, Rick’s Cabaret is going to have to make it rain on thousands of strippers to the tune of more than $10 million. [New York Times]
* Loretta Lynch, America’s would-be attorney general, has been flying under the radar for years, and now senators are searching to find something, anything at all really, that could possibly be wrong with her. [Legal Times]
* “[T]his is the best period of time that we have seen in a long time.” According to Wells Fargo Private Bank’s Legal Specialty Group, Biglaw’s revenue, hours, and profits all rose in the first nine months of 2014. Nice work! [Am Law Daily]
* Biglaw mergers and acquisitions are now on pace to meet or beat last year’s record, and company legal departments are pretty pissed off about it, especially since “[l]arge firm views on conflicts [tend to] drive [GCs] crazy.” [Reuters]
* Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor attended the groundbreaking of Arizona State Law’s new campus, and even shoveled some dirt in honor of the school named after her. [Arizona Republic]
* What’s the price on being blackballed? Condé Nast settled its unpaid intern class-action lawsuit yesterday for $5.8 million, which will result in $700 to $1,900 payouts per aggrieved intern. [Fashionista]
* Look, ma, no Justice Kennedy! Over the dissent of Justices Scalia and Thomas, the Supreme Court quickly lifted its earlier stay on allowing same-sex marriages to go forward in Kansas. [USA Today]
* Sources say were it not for Bingham McCutchen’s malpractice settlement with the former owner of the Dodgers, Morgan Lewis would’ve walked away from the potential merger deal. #blessed [Am Law Daily]
* Mathew Martoma, the would-be lawyer who was expelled from Harvard Law for faking his transcripts, was denied his bid for bail pending appeal on an insider trading conviction. [DealBook / New York Times]
* Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start: The ex-general counsel to Occulus VR started his own firm and angel investment company to address the needs of video game companies. [Gamasutra]
* New York is holding off on adopting the Uniform Bar Exam, at least for a little while longer, mostly because “the[re] is just not enough turnaround time to do it for July ’15.” Hooray? [New York Law Journal]
* With all this net neutrality talk, one of the biggest fans of the cause is Justice Antonin Scalia. He may not be tech-savvy, but he may yet save the internet. [National Law Journal]
* And the partners rejoiced? Bingham McCutchen approved a Morgan Lewis merger, and now the firm waits for its valiant rescuer to ride in upon its trusty steed. [WSJ Law Blog]
* A new study says the way to close the law school gender gap is to adopt gradeless grading policies similar to those of top law schools. Honors for everyone, yay! [Stanford News]
* LSAT prep company Test Masters Educational Services Inc. — not to be confused with TestMasters — must pay about $927K in legal fees, because as it turns out, some people were confused. [Legal Times]
* A Texas state representative submitted a bill calling for a new law school in the Rio Grande Valley because there aren’t enough lawyers there. Unemployed lawyers, you know what to do. [Action 4 News]
Law firm mergers are often bad ideas; if you’re going to do one, do it right.
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Anna Nicole Smith, Attorney Misconduct, Biglaw, California, In-House Counsel, Law Firm Mergers, Law Schools, Legal Ethics, Marijuana, Morning Docket, Partner Issues, Politics, Sexual Harassment, State Judges, State Judges Are Clowns, You Go Girl
* Bingham McCutchen canceled its partnership retreat, and their partner offer letters from Morgan Lewis must be accepted by today’s deadline — all while a prospective merger currently hangs in the balance. [Am Law Daily]
* Per Altman Weil’s 2014 Chief Legal Officer Survey, the work at in-house legal departments is about to grow exponentially, while the spend on outside counsel will decrease in turn. Uh oh, no bueno. [Corporate Counsel]
* “The attempt to have the defendant have any kind of humility has failed.” Due to “unsatisfactory” apologies to state employees, former judge Joan Orie Melvin will have to re-apologize for her crimes. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
* “A troubled law school is like Dracula: hard to kill.” In the wake of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s debt restructuring, it’s now obvious that law schools aren’t worth much at all. [DealBook / New York Times]
* Republicans are now in control in both the House and the Senate, but fear not, because the nation’s capital just legalized marijuana. That’ll help calm down the depressed D.C. Democrats out there. [CNN]
* Though it’s unlikely, thanks to this ruling, Anna Anna Anna Anna Anna Nicole’s lawyer/lover could be retried for allegedly giving illegally obtained prescriptions to the drug-addled model. [National Law Journal]
* Tinder’s cofounder apparently made a killing on her sexual harassment settlement with the company. Though no one admitted guilt, she reportedly took home “just over” $1M. Get it, girl. [Business Insider]
Biglaw, Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge, Edwards Wildman, Intellectual Property, Lateral Moves, Law Firm Mergers, Locke Liddell & Sapp, Locke Lord, Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell, Musical Chairs, Partner Issues, Partner Profits, United Kingdom / Great Britain
Who is leaving Edwards Wildman, and what implications might this have for the Locke Lord transaction?
How should small to medium-sized firms approach a merger strategy, what are the “rules of the road” for a successful merger, and how can the inherent risks be managed?
* The Supreme Court’s new term kicks off today, and lawyers are pumped — especially since “the Roberts court [may] be to the rights of gays and lesbians what the Warren court was to the rights of African Americans.” [New York Times]
* But come on, the Supreme Court hasn’t even decided to take up a same-sex marriage case for October Term 2014, you say. Not to worry, because “[h]owever slow the term is starting, it could obviously explode.” [USA Today]
* This year’s law firm merger pace is slightly more robust than last year’s record-breaking rate. Lawyers should probably get ready for some real merger mania before the new year comes. [Am Law Daily]
* The legal services sector just lost the largest number of jobs in a one-month period in almost five years. Our condolences to recent law school graduates who are still searching for employment. [WSJ Law Blog]
* On the other side of the spectrum, this recent law school graduate has it made. This former bank robber turned D.C. Circuit clerk just found out he’ll be allowed to take the bar exam. Yay! [National Law Journal]
* Now that we know Eric Holder is resigning, there’s been speculation as to where he’ll go next. The obvious choice is a return to Covington & Burling, but he could still surprise everyone. [National Law Journal]
* “Judicial campaign cash is burning a hole in the Constitution.” State court judges are pumping money into their election campaigns, and some have been left to wonder about its true price. [New York Times]
* Details have emerged as to conditions that must be met for Bingham McCutchen’s proposed merger with Morgan Lewis: partner promises, de-equitizations, and forgivable loans, oh my! [Reuters (sub. req.)]
* In the wake of Dean Makau Mutua’s decision to step down at Buffalo Law, a “deep rift” among faculty has been brought to light. The school’s future doesn’t seem as “bright” as we were one told. [Buffalo News]
* A former law student who was falsely identified as a porn star on the radio had her day in court and pulled out a win. Here’s the money shot: she’s walking away with $1 million in damages. [Kansas City Star]
Something the two firms don’t have in common? The direction they’ve been heading in….