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Report: Rents Up, Square Footage Down for Am Law 200 Firms

By MP McQueen |

The downsizing trend for office space continues but is starting to slow as many firms already have given up space per lawyer to save money, according to the latest survey by commercial real estate services company Jones Lang LaSalle.

Legal News and Gossip Roundup

By Vivia Chen |

Some juicy, quirky news items you might have missed.

Tesoro Refinery Fidalgo Bay, Washington

Six Am Law 100 Firms Smooth Way for Another Pipeline Deal

By Brian Baxter |

As the U.S. moves to become the world's largest oil producer, lawyers from Cooley, Latham & Watkins, McGuireWoods, Norton Rose Fulbright, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz are helping QEP Resources unload its natural gas pipeline and processing unit for $2.5 billion in cash to Tesoro Logistics, a refinery operator owned by Tesoro Corp.

Two Am Law 100 Firms With California Roots Expand Abroad

By Nathalie Pierrepont |

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe is opening up shop in West Africa, while Littler Mendelson's growing Latin American presence gets a boost with a new outpost in Peru.

Skadden Continues M&A Hot Streak With Two Big Deals

By Wenxiong Zhang |

The firm, which earlier this month took the top spot on three separate rankings for its M&A work, is representing longtime client Permira Advisers on its $3.5 billion sale of Arysta LifeScience Ltd. to Platform Specialty Products. Skadden is also advising British Columbia Investment Management Corporation as it partners with Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets to purchase electric utility Cleco Power for $3.4 billion.

Russian Legal Market Turns Bearish for International Firms

By Julie Triedman |

As sanctions have dried up cross-border deal flow in Russia, U.S. firms are feeling the pinch.

The Churn

Edwards Wildman's Tech Cochair Departs, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

Another Edwards Wildman Palmer partner departs ahead of the firm's proposed merger later this year with Locke Lord; a Bingham partner heads to the FCC; Fried Frank and Kirkland & Ellis add a pair of new partners; and other notable moves from throughout The Am Law 200.

Wachtell Advises Chesapeake on $5.38 Billion Asset Sale

By Wenxiong Zhang |

Chesapeake Energy announced Thursday that it would sell a large portion of its gas business in Northern West Virginia and Southern Pennsylvania to Houston-based rival Southwestern Energy. The deal allows Chesapeake to pay down a substantial amount of debt accrued from past expansion efforts.

Elon's 'Groundbreaking New Model'

By Steven J. Harper |

In a battle between reforming legal education and preserving the currently prevailing law school business model, guess which side wins?

Drone Practices Take Off at Hogan Lovells, MoFo

By Nathalie Pierrepont |

Hogan Lovells and Morrison & Foerster are the latest Am Law firms to launch new practice groups focused on drones in the race to claim an early stake in the business.

Covington Gets Qualcomm Call, Loses Two Litigators

By Brian Baxter |

Wireless technology company Qualcomm tapped Covington & Burling to advise on its proposed $2.5 billion acquisition of CSR, a British chipmaker known for its Bluetooth technology. At the same time, the firm saw two top litigators handling Deepwater Horizon-related oil spill work for BP depart its Beltway base for Kirkland & Ellis.

Fried Frank Picks Up Tax Duo in New York, London

By Brian Baxter |

A month after losing its former leader and two other capital markets partners to Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Wall Street mainstay Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson is bringing on two tax partners from King & Spalding and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.

The Careerist: Kings of the Jungle

By Vivia Chen |

Do you fit the profile of a leader?

How Global 100 Firms Rate on Pro Bono Work

By Michael D. Goldhaber |

Our first survey of pro bono efforts among non-U.S. global firms shows good effort—and room for improvement.

Am Law Firms in Africa See Minimal Effects of Ebola—For Now

By Nathalie Pierrepont |

The outbreak of the virus has led to postponed conferences, travel restrictions and reliance on videoconferences with clients for some firms doing business in West Africa, where the virus has taken its greatest toll. But for the most part, it's been business as usual.

Fenwick & West Advises Symantec on Split

By Wenxiong Zhang |

The Mountain View, Calif.-based antivirus software maker announced that it would separate its businesses, joining a recent wave of technology companies such as Hewlett-Packard and eBay that have decided that two is better than one.

GE Bags Skadden's Pozen for Top Antitrust Role

By Brian Baxter |

Sharis Pozen, a former acting assistant U.S. attorney general for antitrust who joined Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in July 2012, left the firm this month to become vice president for global competition and antitrust at General Electric. Pozen is the latest high-profile Am Law 100 partner to join the in-house legal ranks of the Fairfield, Conn.-based conglomerate, which has tapped Skadden to advise on its pending $17 billion buy of the energy unit of French engineering giant Alstom.

The Churn

Dickstein Shapiro IP Group Defects, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips adds a three-partner West Coast IP team from struggling Dickstein Shapiro; Boies Schiller loses a litigator to Barclays, but grabs Al Franken's former general counsel; Davis Polk and Willkie Farr bring back partners from public service; and other notable hires from throughout The Am Law 200.

Cadwalader Hails Nobel Prize-Winning Pro Bono Client Malala Yousafzai

By MP McQueen |

The firm has represented Yousafzai since 2012, when it helped her negotiate and establish The Malala Fund while she was still hospitalized in England after an assassination attempt by the Taliban.

Geberit Bathroom Fixtures.

Geberit Taps Latham for $1.35 Billion Buy of Sanitec

By Wenxiong Zhang |

The Swiss bathroom-piping maker said on Tuesday that it would purchase Sanitec Group, a Nordic ceramic toilet maker, for $1.35 billion in an all-cash deal.

The Careerist: In Men (and Karma) We Trust

By Vivia Chen |

Don't worry, just work hard, advises Microsoft's CEO to women.

Am Law 100 Trio Fuel Up for Formation of Pipeline Giant

By Nathalie Pierrepont |

Targa Resources Partners and Targa Resources Corp. announced plans to buy Atlas Energy and its midstream subsidiary, Atlas Pipeline Partners, in a transaction valued at about $7.7 billion. Covington & Burling, Vinson & Elkins and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz have grabbed lead roles on the matter.

Mayer Brown, A&O Fly in for GE's $1.78B Helicopter Lessor Buy

By Brian Baxter |

The two firms are handling the $1.78 billion sale of Dublin-based Milestone Aviation Group to General Electric, which will absorb the helicopter lessor into its massive aircraft leasing division.

Steris Seeks Inversion Deal Amid Tightened Regulations

By Wenxiong Zhang |

Wachtell, Jones Day and DLA Piper advise as the Ohio-based medical technology company offers to buy Swindon, England-based sterilization services provider Synergy Health Plc for $1.9 billion in cash and stock. The deal would create a new company in the U.K., allowing Steris to redomicile there and save on taxes.

With a Series of Star Hires, Freshfields Shifts Strategy in New York

By Chris Johnson |

Elite U.K. firms have struggled to establish themselves as serious contenders in the U.S., especially in big-ticket transactional work. Now Freshfields has recruited high-profile talent from Skadden, Wachtell, Fried Frank and Shearman in a bid to challenge Wall Street firms on their own turf.

Fried Frank, Quinn Emanuel Boost London With Senior Partner Hires

By Chris Johnson |

Fried Frank captures Kirkland & Ellis London senior partner Graham White, who joins the firm as its first-ever London managing partner, while Quinn Emanuel launches a London competition practice with the hire of litigator Boris Bronfentrinker from Hausfeld & Co.

Former Class Action King Takes Control of NHL's Coyotes

By Brian Baxter |

A hat trick of firms—Blank Rome, Oslers and Shearman & Sterling—are advising on the $155 million sale of a 51 percent stake in the National Hockey League's Phoenix Coyotes to Andrew Barroway, a high-flying plaintiffs lawyer-turned-hedge fund executive.

The Churn

Blank Rome Whistleblower Group Defects, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

One of the few whistleblower practices at an Am Law 100 firm is heading out on its own; fast-growing Parker Ibrahim & Berg raids Edwards Wildman Palmer to branch out in Boston; Ballard Spahr's mortgage banking head goes in-house; and more notable moves from throughout The Am Law 200.

Dealmakers of the Week: Skadden's Schnell and Chitwood

By MP McQueen |

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom M&A partners Paul Schnell and C. Michael Chitwood led the deal team advising medical technology company Becton, Dickinson and Co. on its $12.2 billion cash-and-stock purchase of CareFusion Corp.

Simpson Thacher, Weil Advise on Blackstone Spinoff

By Nathalie Pierrepont |

Blackstone Group announced on Friday plans to spin off its financial advisory and Park Hill fund placement businesses and merge them with PJT Partners, an advisory firm founded by M&A star Paul Taubman. For legal counsel, PJT turned to Weil, Gotshal & Manges, which is a longtime adviser to Taubman's former employer Morgan Stanley. Blackstone tapped Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.