Editor's Picks

Deal Watch: Three Am Law Firms Lead on AbbVie's $21 Billion Pharma Buy

By Jennifer Henderson |

Big pharma tops our latest roundup of deals worth $1 billion or more, with AbbVie Inc. agreeing to purchase cancer drug maker Pharmacyclics Inc. for $21 billion. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom advised on the most number of billion-dollar deals this week, with four, while Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz led the way by transaction value.

office, celebrate, workers

Networking Tips for Contrarians

By Vivia Chen |

How to network for those who think it's a waste of time.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: Proskauer Profits Hit New High

By Vivia Chen and Brian Baxter |

Proskauer Rose has joined one of the most enviable clubs in the legal profession: the $2 million profit per partner league. In 2014, the firm's profits per partner increased a healthy 7.7 percent, hitting $2.10 million, up from $1.95 million in 2013.

McKenna Long, Dentons Looks to Merge Again

By Brian Baxter |

A little more than a year after a potential union between Dentons and McKenna Long & Aldridge fell through, the two Am Law 100 firms are once again examining the possibility of combining operations.

Law Firms to Form Cybersecurity Alliance

By Christine Simmons and Nell Gluckman |

As pressure to strengthen defenses against security breaches increases, at least five firms—Sullivan & Cromwell, Debevoise & Plimpton, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, Allen & Overy and Linklaters—are working to form an alliance that would allow them to ultimately share information with each other about cyber threats and vulnerability.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: Debevoise Delivers Solid Revenue, Profit Growth

By Julie Triedman |

A year after posting double-digit gains in profits per partner, Debevoise & Plimpton saw more modest growth across the board in 2014.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: Kramer Levin Sees Mixed Results in 2014

By MP McQueen |

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel posted a 3.7 percent gain in profits per partner last year, to $1.815 million, but gross revenue declined by half a percent, to $320.5 million. Revenue per lawyer increased by 1 percent, to $1.04 million from $1.03 million.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: DLA Posts Record Profits Despite Flat Revenue

By Chris Johnson |

Despite flat revenues and a second consecutive drop in total lawyer head count, DLA Piper's net income rose by more than 10 percent in 2014, to a record high of $667 million. This increased efficiency pushed the firm’s profit margin from 24 to 27 percent—its highest since 2008—while average profits per equity partner rose 12.5 percent, to $1.49 million, another firm record.

Baker & McKenzie's Chairman Eduardo de Cerqueira Leite

The Toughest Job in Big Law?

By Douglas McCollam |

Long-haul flights. Time zone shifts. Calls and emails around the clock. When did the job of managing partner become so grueling?

Butler Snow Forms New Economic Development Arm

By Jennifer Henderson |

Butler, Snow, O'Mara, Stevens & Cannada departed from its traditional legal services by creating VisionFirst Advisors, to be led by former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour as chairman, along with former Florida Secretary of Commerce Gray Swoope as president and CEO.

Cadwalader Revives Houston Office With Addition of Energy Partner

By Nell Gluckman |

After a dip in profits in 2014 and an emptying of the firm’s Houston office, Cadwalader is looking to regain ground with three big lateral hires, including Chad Mills, a former transactional energy partner at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan.

The Churn

Fried Frank and Paul Hastings Poach IP Heads, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

Patterson Belknap and Shearman & Sterling lose a pair of IP practice leaders; Cadwalader rebuilds in Houston; more Bingham McCutchen refugees find new homes; and other notable hires from throughout The Am Law 200.

Men Are Geniuses. Women Just Work Hard.

By Vivia Chen |

Genius has a gender. Who knew?

Dacheng founder Peng Xuefeng and Dentons global chair Joseph Andrew at the signing ceremony in Beijing.

The Inside Story of Dentons' Combination with Dacheng

By Julie Triedman |

In its boldest move yet, the verein is betting big on the Chinese economy.

Ex-Bryan Cave Partner's Suicide Mars Missouri Gubernatorial Race

By Brian Baxter |

Thomas Schweich, a former Bryan Cave partner serving as Missouri’s state auditor, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head at his home last week in the St. Louis suburb of Clayton. Schweich's death came a month after he entered the state's Republican race for governor in 2016.

Lawyer Thulani Maseko

Hogan Lovells Seeks Freedom for Swazi Human Rights Attorney

By Nell Gluckman |

A team of Hogan Lovells attorneys has submitted a petition to the United Nations on behalf of Swazi human rights attorney Thulani Maseko, who is halfway through a two-year prison sentence. Maseko was imprisoned along with the editor of a local magazine after publishing an article that was critical of the judiciary in Swaziland.

Vancouver, British Columbia

DLA Piper Breaks Into Canada With Davis Merger

By Julie Triedman |

A year after its bid to merge with now-defunct Canadian firm Heenan Blaikie fell through, DLA Piper has found a partner up north in Davis LLP, a 260-lawyer midtier firm based in Vancouver. The combination, effective in April, marks the latest combination of a U.S.-based global firm with one in Canada.

The Churn

Milbank Adds Euro Trio, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

Milbank expands in London and Frankfurt; Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani loses a top sports lawyer, but picks up more than a dozen others in Pittsburgh; Barclays and Deutsche Bank raid big firms for two in-house legal chiefs; Cadwalader brings on a top federal prosecutor; and other notable additions from throughout The Am Law 200.

Dealmaker of the Week: Alison Ressler of Sullivan & Cromwell

By Jennifer Henderson |

A corporate partner at Sullivan & Cromwell, Ressler advised Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. in its $10.1 billion acquisition of Raleigh, North Carolina-based Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: Willkie Farr Achieves Personal Best in 2014

By MP McQueen |

M&A and private equity work helped Willkie Farr & Gallagher's partner profits rise 14.5 percent to $2.56 million last year. Gross revenue also increased 14.5 percent, to $640 million, while revenue per lawyer jumped 8.5 percent, to $1.155 million. All three totals marked record highs for the firm.

CNN’s New 'Above the Law' Series Rankles Legal Blog

By Nell Gluckman |

CNN has published an online series on government debt collection called "Above the Law." But Elie Mystal, editor at large for the publisher of a popular legal blog by the same name, says: Not so fast. Mystal has turned to its readership of legal professionals to draft cease-and-desist letters to CNN as it tries to defend its trademark.

Sneak Peeks

By Kim Kleman, editor-in-chief |

In this issue we feature hot practices, firm profiles and research you'll want to know about.

Four Tech Trends Every Firm Should Watch

By David L. Brown |

Should more firms be investing in tech to survive?

Big Suits

By David Bario, Jenna Greene, Scott Flaherty, Mark Hamblett, Rebekah Mintzer, and Julie Triedman |

U.S. v. Standard & Poor's; Fjarde AP-Fonden v. Morgan Stanley; In re Bear Stearns Mortgage Pass-Through Litigation; In Re Freeport-McMoRan Derivative Litigation

What Every Partner Can Do to Foster Collaboration

By Heidi K. Gardner |

Even if you're not the managing partner, you can spark collaboration and change in your firm.

Why It Pays To Collaborate With Your Colleagues

By Heidi K. Gardner |

Here's proof that firms whose lawyers learn to work together are far more successful with clients than lone-wolf shops. They make more money, too.

Firms Garner Huge Fees in Sports

By Brian Baxter |

Public records shed light on fees firms have received from their sports clients.

Deal Watch: Sullivan & Cromwell Advise Valeant on $10.1 Billion Buy of Salix

By Jennifer Henderson |

Our latest roundup of deals worth $1 billion or more includes Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.’s purchase of Salix Pharmaceuticals Ltd. for $10.1 billion; Asahi Kasei Corp.’s buy of Polypore International Inc. in a deal valued at $3.2 billion; and a merger between silicon producers Grupo FerroAtlántica and Globe Specialty Metals Inc. for a combined value of $3.1 billion. Latham & Watkins advised on the most number of deals, with four, while Sullivan & Cromwell led the way in terms of transaction value.

More Schools Dump LSAT Requirement + More

By Vivia Chen |

News for law students and lawyer wanna-bees.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: Kaye Scholer Grows PPP While Shrinking Head Count

By MP McQueen |

Kaye Scholer's profits per partner increased a modest 1.8 percent in 2014 while revenue per lawyer grew 5.2 percent. Gross revenue, however, declined for the fourth consecutive year, dipping 1.3 percent to $375 million. The firm was able to increase partner profits and RPL by cutting expenses and reducing head count.