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The 2015 A-List: The New Elite

Find out which firms made the grade in our annual survey of the best of the well-rounded best in Big Law.

The American Lawyer Names 2015 Global Legal Award Winners

By Michael D. Goldhaber |

The contest attracted 225 strong entries across 30 categories, and honors firms and legal departments involved in the globe's most distinguished deals, disputes and social initiatives.

Dewey Witness Chokes Up as Prosecutors Double Down

By Christine Simmons |

Former Dewey & LeBoeuf finance director Frank Canellas told prosecutors Tuesday that telling the truth about Dewey’s demise would let him "look myself in the mirror every day for the rest of my life."

Cooley Makes Bicoastal Raid on Reed Smith

By Brian Baxter |

Four prominent corporate partners from Reed Smith—including Yvan-Claude Pierre, head of the firm’s corporate and securities group and chair of its U.S. capital markets practice—are peeling off for Cooley’s offices in New York and San Francisco.

China Denies Role in Hack Attack on Hague Peace Palace

By Michael D. Goldhaber |

A cybersecurity breach at the Permanent Court of Arbitration places at risk any law firm that tracks arbitration in The Hague.

Sidley Partner Rattles Psychology Field With Torture Report

By Nell Gluckman |

In probing the American Psychological Association's complicity in post-9/11 interrogation methods, Sidley's David Hoffman found plenty to criticize—but also respect for the profession.

Defense Gets Turn to Grill Dewey Finance Director

By Julie Triedman |

Defense lawyers in the Dewey & LeBoeuf criminal trial worked to undermine three days of witness testimony that appeared to link the firm’s executives to the alleged accounting fraud at the heart of the case.

Law Firm Combinations Will Continue, But There’s a Ceiling, Consultants Say

By Nell Gluckman |

Law firms are merging at the highest rate since the Great Recession, but consultants say there are checks within the legal industry that will prevent consolidation on the scale of other professional service industries.

Cadwalader Parts Ways With Troubled Partner

By Jennifer Henderson |

Robert Ughetta, a capital markets partner with Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft in Charlotte, has left the firm two months after being charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. It was the third time in three years the lawyer found himself in legal trouble.

Nelson Mullins Suspends Partner Over In-Flight Incident

By Brian Baxter |

Three glasses of wine and some sleeping pills did not make for a restful flight from Charlotte to London for Sarah Buffett, a corporate and immigration partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough.

The Churn

Liner Lands Dickstein Defectors, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

The head of Dickstein Shapiro’s insurance coverage practice leads nine other lawyers to Los Angeles-based Liner; Morgan, Lewis & Bockius hires two more partners in London; and other notable new roles from throughout The Am Law 200.

Attorney Elkan Abramowitz questions Frank Canellas on the stand, July 20, 2015, as former Dewey chair Steven Davis, far right, looks on.

Defense: Dewey Chair Was Unaware of False Accounting

By Nell Gluckman |

A defense lawyer for former Dewey & LeBoeuf chairman Steven Davis spent Monday challenging the statements of former Dewey finance director Francis Canellas, whose testimony last week suggested that Davis knew about allegedly improper accounting adjustments at the firm.

stack of credit cards

Dust-Up Over Ex-Willkie Partner Roils Megabucks Credit Card Case

By Scott Flaherty |

Merchants in a multibillion-dollar antitrust case against MasterCard say a plaintiffs lawyer should lose $32 million in fees for purportedly sharing confidential documents with former Willkie partner Keila Ravelo.

Weil, Not Kirkland, Checks In for A&P’s Chapter 22

By Brian Baxter |

The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. has tapped Weil, Gotshal & Manges restructuring partner Ray Schrock—one of The American Lawyer’s Star Lateral hires of 2014—to handle its second bankruptcy case in five years.

Elkan Abramowitz, attorney for Steven Davis, enters court on the first day of the Dewey trial in May.

Defense Lawyer Nixes Insurance Testimony on Dewey’s Health

By Nell Gluckman |

An insurance executive testified Thursday that Dewey & LeBoeuf’s management assured him of the firm's fiscal health ahead of a $40 million loan in 2010. But a defense lawyer for Dewey & LeBoeuf’s former leader successfully dismissed that evidence.

The Churn

Schiff Hardin and Steptoe Make Squire Hires, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

Squire Patton Boggs sees more partners depart; two more lawyers peel away from O’Melveny & Myers; another IP litigator leaves Kenyon & Kenyon; and other notable moves from throughout The Am Law 200.

Dewey & LeBoeuf NYC

Ex-Manager Details Dewey & LeBoeuf’s False Accounting Entries

By Julie Triedman |

Jyhjing Harrington testified Monday that she and others in the now-defunct firm's finance department falsified financial statements by making illegitimate entries at the end of each fiscal year between 2008 and 2011.

Venable, Wachtell Make Match With Dating Site Deal

By Jennifer Henderson |

The two Am Law 100 firms and a pair of Canadian shops have picked up work on a pickup site deal that will see Barry Diller-backed The Match Group buy PlentyofFish Media for $575 million in cash.

Clouds at sunset on the South China Sea

The Global Lawyer: Not the South China Sea, Not in Court

By Michael D. Goldhaber |

Last week arbitrators in The Hague heard from Foley Hoag's Paul Reichler in the first phase of the world's most misunderstood maritime battle, over the status of a few rocks that form the most controversial dots on the world map.

‘Best Firms’ Report Shows Top 50 Shops for Women

By MP McQueen |

A select group of Am Law 200 firms are among those touted by Working Mother magazine and consulting firm Flex-Time Lawyers for their annual look at the 50 best firms for women, based on metrics like family-friendly policies and percentage of female partners.

As Brown Rudnick Twists, Irish Eyes Shine on Mayer Brown

By Brian Baxter |

The story of Brown Rudnick’s role in an Irish bailout deal gone bad took a new turn this week, while Mayer Brown landed a role in the U.S. bankruptcy of a disgraced Irish property baron whose wife was allegedly ripped off by a New York lawyer.

The Churn

K&L Gates Adds Two Amid Departure Wave, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

K&L Gates, which has watched more than 90 partners depart this year, saw another handful leave within the past week; Morrison & Foerster picks up an Asian litigation leader; O'Melveny & Myers adds one in London; and other notable hires from throughout The Am Law 200.

Clients are Asking About Iran, But Lawyers Remain Cautious

By Nell Gluckman |

Am Law 100 firms are receiving inquiries from clients about whether they can do business in Iran. Though the nuclear accord announced this month signals that some companies may soon have access to a new market, most lawyers are reserved in their expectations.

McDermott Partners With Spanish Firm for Foray Into Cuba

By Nell Gluckman |

McDermott Will & Emery has become the latest Am Law 100 firm to target opportunities stemming from the renewal of U.S. diplomatic relations with Cuba, forging an alliance with Spanish firm Olleros Abogados to advise clients on Cuba-related matters from Madrid.

Dewey Prosecution Speeds Ahead After Key Witness Testifies

By Julie Triedman |

With the prosecution's case moving faster than expected, counsel for defendants in the Dewey & LeBoeuf criminal trial used the last day of testimony by Dewey's former finance director to cast doubt on the witness.

Deal Watch: Big Firms Feast on Billionaire’s Deal Double

By Jennifer Henderson |

Several Global 100 firms picked up work this week on a pair of acquisitions by companies backed by billionaire Martin Franklin.

Katten Partner Takes Stand at Dewey & LeBoeuf Criminal Trial

By Christine Simmons |

Howard Schickler, a former structured finance partner at Dewey & LeBoeuf, said he left the firm in late 2010 for Katten Muchin Rosenman with 12 other lawyers because he did not receive the compensation he was promised.

Swiss Miss: Winston & Strawn to Close Geneva Office

By Nell Gluckman |

The firm has decided to consolidate its European arbitration practice and relocate its two Geneva partners by Sept. 30, 2015.

Deal Watch: Am Law 100 Firms Circle Pair of $48 Billion Deals

By Jennifer Henderson |

Anthem’s $48 billion takeover bid for Cigna and AT&T’s successful $48 billion acquisition of DirecTV provided work for dozens of lawyers at Am Law 100 firms.

After Davis Acquisition, DLA Piper Expands Again in Toronto

By Jennifer Henderson |

Three months after finalizing its combination with Canada's Davis, DLA Piper is once again expanding north of the border, picking up four corporate partners from a Toronto firm.