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Fried Frank to Pull Out of Asia

By Chris Johnson |

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson is to effectively close its Hong Kong and Shanghai offices and pull out of Asia, The American Lawyer has learned.

Dentons and China's Dacheng Poised for Historic Union

By Julie Triedman |

The world will soon have a new largest law firm. Dentons and leading Chinese firm Dacheng are poised to announce a combination creating a 6,600-lawyer legal giant operating under the Swiss verein structure.

Top Rainmaker Leaves Kirkland for Paul Weiss

By Julie Triedman and Brian Baxter |

Taurie Zeitzer, a leading M&A lawyer who joined Kirkland & Ellis two years ago from Latham & Watkins, is taking her private equity expertise to Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.

After Two Years at Cadwalader, Woolery Leaves for Hedge Fund

By Julie Triedman |

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft announced Tuesday that James Woolery, who had been poised to become the storied Wall Street firm's chair this month after spending nearly two years as chairman-elect, would leave to cofound a new investment venture. Patrick Quinn, Cadwalader's managing partner-elect since January 2014, will assume sole leadership of the firm that hired Woolery from JPMorgan Chase as its highest-paid partner.

Dentons, Dacheng Deal Sets Legal Industry Abuzz

By Julie Triedman |

While law firm leaders and legal observers marvel at the scope and scale of the tie-up between Dentons and China's Dacheng to create the world's largest firm, several also wonder how the two sides will pull off such a massive undertaking, and whether it will ultimately be successful.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: Weil Sees 'Strong Rebound Year'

By Julie Triedman |

After two consecutive years of profits per equity partner dipping by high single digits, Weil, Gotshal & Manges is reporting a 16.5 percent upswing for 2014, with PPP climbing to $2.4 million from $2.065 million—a level not seen since 2011.

David Greenwald

Fried Frank Chair Discusses Asia Exit

By Chris Johnson |

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson chair David Greenwald says the firm's decision to effectively close its Hong Kong and Shanghai offices and pull out of Asia, as revealed by The American Lawyer on Monday, was a "difficult but necessary decision."

The Churn

Hedge Funds Add Top Talent, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft and Kirkland & Ellis saw a pair of leading M&A partners depart for new roles on the business side; a former Bingham McCutchen practice leader lands at Willkie Farr; Skadden snags a leading trusts and estates lawyer; Squire Patton Boggs adds a retired Utah congressman; and other notable hires from throughout The Am Law 200.

Report: Nixon Peabody in Merger Talks With Chicago Firm

By Brian Baxter |

Nixon Peabody, having had unsuccessful tie-up talks in recent years with Blank Rome and Locke Lord, is now reportedly looking at a potential acquisition of Chicago’s 100-lawyer Ungaretti & Harris. With roughly 100 lawyers, Ungaretti & Harris has seen its fortunes slip along with many midsize Windy City shops in recent years.

Deal Watch: Three Am Law Firms Advise on $18 Billion Energy Buy

By Jennifer Henderson |

The $18 billion merger between Energy Transfer Partners and Regency Energy Partners tops a roundup of nine deals breaking the billion-dollar mark this week.

Lateral Hiring Stays Strong, but Firms Curb Pay Pledges

By MP McQueen |

Lateral hiring remains at a near record, but more firms seek to manage risk by pulling back on compensation guarantees.

Serial Lateral Finds a New Home

By Nell Gluckman |

IP litigator Paul Gupta has moved from DLA Piper to Reed Smith, making the firm his 10th professional home. His career trajectory has paralleled that of his practice area in general, he says. Now at Reed Smith, he'll be able to help grow and shape the IP practice group.

Two Am Law 200 Firms Seek Growth Through Mergers

By Nell Gluckman |

Dinsmore & Shohl announced its acquisition of West Virginia's Huddleston Bolen on Tuesday, while Clark Hill absorbed the Rayndon Law Group in Scottsdale, Ariz.

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

Dentons, Dacheng Seal the Deal for a Union

By Julie Triedman |

Five days after The American Lawyer broke news of the impending combination between Dentons and Asia's largest firm, the union is now official. Chinese regulators gave the expected green light to the landmark deal between China-based Dacheng Law Offices and Dentons early on Monday Beijing time, clearing the way for the signing ceremony.

An Rx for Lateral Heartache

By William Henderson and Christopher Zorn |

Lateral partner hiring among large law firms is a lot like an ailing patient. We say this having explored more than 30,000 lateral partner moves over a 12-year period. And we're ready to offer prescriptive advice—a real cure for the dysfunctional lateral market.

Littler Back Office Feels Polsinelli Backlash

By Jennifer Henderson |

Less than two weeks after Littler Mendelson announced it would open a back office in Kansas City, Mo., local firm Polsinelli is criticizing the move for undercutting the competitive advantage that it and others now enjoy.

Paul Weiss Called In to Investigate Deflate-Gate

By Jennifer Henderson |

The National Football League has tapped Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison to lead a probe into whether the New England Patriots used intentionally deflated balls during the American Football Conference title game last Sunday.

Dealmaker of the Week: Trevor Norwitz of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

By Jennifer Henderson |

Norwitz advised Dollar Tree Inc. in its $8.5 billion bid for Family Dollar Stores Inc., which ultimately beat out a $9.1 billion bid from rival Dollar General Corp.

The Churn

McDermott Taps New COO, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

Two firms shuffling their COOs saw partners depart in January; DLA Piper and Kirkland & Ellis make some high-profile labor and employment hires; Quinn Emanuel grows in Houston; Wilmer raids MoFo for a new cybersecurity chair; and other notable additions from throughout The Am Law 200.

Nixon Peabody Reaches Merger Accord with Chicago Firm

By Brian Baxter |

The Boston-based Am Law 100 firm announced Monday an agreement to absorb Chicago's Ungaretti & Harris, taking on roughly 100 lawyers in the Windy City.

Debevoise Associate Moonlights as Chess Champion

By Nell Gluckman |

Alisa Melekhina learned to play chess at 5, competed for the first time at 7 and represented the U.S. in a tournament at 9. Now, at 23, she is among the top 10 women chess players in the country. Meanwhile, as a new associate at Debevoise & Plimpton, she is working on a white-collar criminal investigation—a challenge she says her chess mind has trained her for.

Law Firm Leader Confidence Improves Again in 4th Quarter

By MP McQueen |

The latest survey by Citi Private Bank Law Watch finds law firm leaders' confidence in the legal industry improved again in the fourth quarter of 2014, in large part because of increased optimism in the economy and in business conditions.

DLA Explores New Revenue Streams through CyberTrak

By Jennifer Henderson |

The firm announced the launch of a subscription-based online platform that allows multinational companies to access information regarding cybersecurity laws for the countries in which they operate.

The Churn

King & Spalding Keeps Hiring, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

Five lawyers join King & Spalding, as two others depart; Haynes and Boone heads to Denver; Pillsbury Winthrop adds 10 in Texas; Latham & Watkins lures a well-pedigreed litigator and other notable additions from throughout The Am Law 200.

Richard Diebenkorn, Untitled, 1949, oil on canvas, 48 x 41 in., Gift of Mary and Jim Patton, © 2014 The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation

Patton Boggs Cofounder Donates 100 Works to North Carolina Museum

By Nell Gluckman |

James Patton Jr., founder of the Am Law 100 firm formerly known as Patton Boggs, has donated 100 works from his contemporary art collection to the North Carolina Museum of Art. The 86-year-old chaired Patton Boggs’ art committee, which created the firm’s own extensive collection, one that Patton believes contributed to its culture and attracted clients.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: Goodwin Procter Builds on 2013 Growth

By Nell Gluckman |

With new leadership in place after the firm’s chair of 16 years stepped aside over the summer, Goodwin Procter had a strong year, with gross revenue increasing by 4.4 percent, profits per partner rising 7.4 percent and revenue per lawyer increasing 6.1 percent in 2014.

Orr Hired as Consultant for Ailing Atlantic City

By Nell Gluckman |

Former Jones Day restructuring partner Kevyn Orr, who left the firm in 2013 to serve as emergency manager of Detroit, has been hired as a part-time consultant in Atlantic City by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Orr will advise Kevin Lavin, former FTI Consulting restructuring attorney, who will serve as emergency manager for Atlantic City, which has fallen on tough economic times since four casinos closed last year.

The Lateral Report: 2014's All-Star Hires

Twenty of the most notable and intriguing lateral moves of the year.

King & Spalding Advises Latest Bidder for New York City Opera

By Nell Gluckman |

A month after Duane Morris client NYCO Renaissance sought to rescue the New York City Opera out of bankruptcy, another suitor has emerged with a competing bid. King & Spalding client Gene Kaufman is offering $1.5 million for the opera company, trumping NYCO's $1.25 million bid.

Kilpatrick Townsend Bets on 'Beast Mode' This Sunday

By Brian Baxter |

R. Gwen Peterson, a partner with Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, helped star Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch trademark his nickname "Beast Mode." Now that nickname, which appeared on a hat Lynch wore at Super Bowl Media Day, could lead to a $100,000 fine by the National Football League.