Editor's Picks

Another Ex-Dewey Partner Files for Bankruptcy

By Brian Baxter |

John Altorelli, cochair of the U.S. finance practice at DLA Piper in New York, has become at least the third former Dewey & LeBoeuf partner to file for personal bankruptcy protection. The Chapter 7 filing by Altorelli in Connecticut comes after a recent ruling in Dewey’s own bankruptcy case precluding ex-partners from invoking a key defense against clawback claims by the defunct firm’s liquidating trustee.

Charlie Geffen

Continental Breakfast with Charlie Geffen, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher

By Chris Johnson |

American Lawyer chief European correspondent Chris Johnson meets regularly with senior legal sector figures at their favorite breakfast joints to chew over the industry's tastiest talking points. This week, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's new London corporate head Charlie Geffen discusses the continued exodus of private equity partners from U.K. to U.S. firms in London.

The Churn

Bingham McCutchen Diaspora Brings Bevy of Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter and Nathalie Pierrepont |

Day Pitney, Proskauer Rose, Seyfarth Shaw, Venable and insurance giant Travelers are the latest to benefit from an exodus of Bingham McCutchen partners not headed to Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. The Am Law Daily is taking a holiday break from its regular compilation of notable hires from across the Am Law 200 spectrum to focus on Bingham McCutchen, a once storied firm that will seek the bulk of its assets folded into a now 2,000-lawyer Morgan Lewis.

The American Lawyer Archives: The Two Faces of Scientology

By Brian Baxter |

With Time Warner-owned cable network HBO having 160 lawyers vet a new documentary by award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney on the Church of Scientology, we decided to republish a 1992 feature story by The American Lawyer about the nonprofit’s various legal travails.

Big British Firm Seeks U.S. Merger Partner in 2015

By MP McQueen |

Bryan Hughes, CEO of London-based Eversheds, tells The Am Law Daily that a “cultural fit” is key when it comes to whittling down a 10-firm list of potential merger partners for his 1,200-lawyer outfit next year.

Skadden’s Senior Associate Bonuses Top the Market—For Now

By Nathalie Pierrepont |

The year-end associate bonus frenzy that began Friday with Simpson Thacher & Bartlett saw Am Law 100 rivals Davis Polk & Wardwell and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom top the market scale for some associates.

Are Associates Getting Dimmer?

By Vivia Chen |

Law school news: bar passage rates hit new low; B-school instead of law school; predicting your class standing.

Latham Launches Second L.A. Outpost With O'Melveny Hires

By Brian Baxter |

Two weeks after news broke of its high-profile raid on O’Melveny & Myers for six prominent entertainment industry partners, Latham & Watkins has opened a second Los Angeles office in Century City. Joseph Calabrese, a former practice chair at O’Melveny and head of the firm’s Southern California transactional group, chats with The Am Law Daily about his decision to join Latham.

Squire Patton Boggs Snags Key Ruling for Angola Three Inmate

By Julie Triedman |

A Nov. 20 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit overturned the conviction of Albert Woodfox, who has been in solitary confinement for more than 42 years as the last member of the Angola Three. Woodfox's longtime lawyer from Squire Patton Boggs says his release depends on what Louisana’s attorney general does next: retry a 1972 murder case or admit defeat and release him.

Morgan Lewis Finalizes Bingham McCutchen Deal

By Brian Baxter |

Roughly 750 lawyers and staffers from Bingham McCutchen will join Morgan, Lewis & Bockius under the terms of an agreement finalized Sunday night between the Am Law 100 firms.

Canadian Bar Report Endorses Nonlawyer Ownership of Law Firms

By Marlisse Silver Sweeney |

A new Canadian Bar Association study offers a wide-ranging outline for change in the legal profession. The most controversial of its 22 recommendations is one that has been anathema in the United States.

The Churn

Greenberg Traurig Adds Qatar's World Cup Lawyer, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

Romi Nayef, an ex-Dentons partner and a lead lawyer for Qatar in its controversial World Cup bid, joins Greenberg Traurig as of counsel in his hometown of Houston; Carlton Fields Jorden Burt hires more Bingham McCutchen refugees; a Hogan Lovells partner returns to Yale; Mintz Levin hires again from Edwards Wildman Palmer; Wiley Rein prepares to absorb a 50-person lobbying group and more notable hires from throughout The Am Law 200.

Paul Tosetti and Cary Hyden

Dealmakers of the Week: Cary Hyden and Paul Tosetti of Latham & Watkins

By MP McQueen |

The two corporate partners led the deal for Latham & Watkins' representation of Allergan in a hotly contested takeover battle against Valeant Pharmaceuticals that ended with the company being bought by Actavis plc.

Simpson Thacher Sets High Bar With Associate Bonuses

By Nathalie Pierrepont |

Cravath, Swaine & Moore has long kicked off associate bonus season, but this year saw Simpson Thacher & Bartlett beat its Wall Street rival to the punch with a Friday announcement that was soon followed by Paul Weiss and Milbank.

Key Ruling Brings Thelen Bankruptcy Closer to Conclusion

By Julie Triedman |

A bankruptcy judge in Manhattan brought Thelen LLP a giant step closer to a final resolution of its Chapter 7 liquidation, ruling Thursday that partners who haven't yet settled with the bankrupt firm's estate have to pay back monthly draws they received during the now-defunct firm's final year.

Law and Football: Rankings Doublethink

By Steven J. Harper |

Some creators of ranking systems try to avoid responsibility for the behavior their rankings produce.

Morgan Lewis Offers 300 Bingham Professionals Full-Time Jobs

By Gina Passarella |

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius has extended offers of full-time employment to more than 300 legal professionals at Bingham McCutchen, a source close to Morgan Lewis said.

Small Virginia Firm and Solo Shop Beckon Reed Smith Litigators

By Brian Baxter |

Two Reed Smith partners have left the firm for wildly different opportunities. Richard "Rip" Sullivan Jr. became a partner at Arlington, Va.-based Bean Kinney & Korman, which recently saw its managing partner hospitalized after a brutal stabbing. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh-based litigator Bruce Stanley, a longtime nemesis of recently indicted former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, launched his own solo shop to focus on representing the families of victims killed or injured in mining accidents.

Am Law Trio Reaps Rewards From Record REIT IPO

By Brian Baxter |

Goodwin Procter, Hogan Lovells and Willkie Farr & Gallagher grabbed roles this week on a $2.29 billion initial public offering for Paramount Group, the largest-ever public listing for a real estate investment trust.

Morgan Lewis

Bingham's Kentucky Staffers Face Layoffs, Uncertain Future

By Nathalie Pierrepont |

Bingham McCutchen employees in its Lexington, Ky., back offices have received a mix of termination letters and offer letters from Morgan Lewis, which last week agreed to absorb 226 of the firm's partners, along with other staff. Come Friday, as many as 30 marketing and document review employees in Kentucky could be let go, according to two sources, and the remainder must decide whether to accept Morgan Lewis' offers or potentially forgo severance.

Report: Chinese Oil Giant Severs Baker & McKenzie Ties

By MP McQueen |

The Wall Street Journal reports that Chinese oil and gas company CNOOC cut its ties to Baker & McKenzie because of alleged conflicts of interest between an in-house lawyer and her husband, the firm’s chief representative in Beijing.

Andrew Levander (L), David Bernick (R)

Dechert’s Lateral Hires Take Lead for Troubled Airbag Maker Takata

By Brian Baxter |

The embattled Japanese auto parts company has retained a high-powered defense team from Dechert to handle a criminal probe, congressional inquiry and class action litigation related to a growing scandal into defective airbags.

Korea's Competitive Legal Market Puts Pressure on Price

By Nathalie Pierrepont |

Since free trade agreements opened the country's legal market to foreign firms in 2012, some 20 U.S. and U.K. firms have planted flags in Seoul, putting pressure on legal fees and ramping up competition between foreign and local firms.

Flexibility Trumps Mentoring

By Vivia Chen |

Forget mentoring, sponsorship and empowerment.

The Churn

Sidley Austin Snags Houston Duo, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

Two Andrews Kurth partners peel off for Sidley Austin in Houston's hot lateral market; a handful of firms make big hires in London; Blank Rome adds a pair from Bingham McCutchen; and other notable moves from throughout The Am Law 200.

Bingham McCutchen May Be Playing the Bluegrass Blues

By Nathalie Pierrepont |

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius has agreed to take on 226 partners from Bingham McCutchen, but uncertainty looms for the latter’s back office in Kentucky, opened two years ago.

Jones Day Is Not Amused

By Vivia Chen |

Jones Day accuses the Careerist of lacking professionalism, integrity and more.

DLA Piper's Turkey Office Demerges From Firm

By Chris Johnson |

DLA Piper's Turkish office has demerged from the firm to reestablish itself as an independent practice.

Wachtell Rides Allergan, Halliburton to $100 Billion Deal Day

By MP McQueen |

The Am Law 100's most profitable firm on a per partner basis took the lead on two big deals announced Monday: Halliburton's $34.6 billion acquisition of oil services rival Baker Hughes and Botox maker Allergan on its proposed $66 billion sale to Actavis. A half-dozen other Am Law 100 firms also had key roles on both transactions.

As Bingham Partners Prepare for Exodus, Some Find Themselves 'Frozen'

By Brian Baxter and Patience Haggin |

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius is gearing up to absorb 226 partners from Bingham McCutchen by month's end. But some partners from the latter not making the move are finding themselves stuck until Dec. 1. Meanwhile, The Am Law Daily has also identified the top Bingham McCutchen rainmakers headed to Morgan Lewis.