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After Botched Suicide, Ex-Skadden Lawyer Charged in Ponzi Scheme

By Brian Baxter |

Charles Bennett, a former corporate lawyer in New York who once worked at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, has been charged by federal prosecutors and regulators with running a $5 million Ponzi scheme. Bennett unsuccessfully tried to kill himself in early November, leading police to recover a suicide note detailing his alleged fraud, in which he invoked the name of former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer.

Kirkland Poaches Winston & Strawn's Litigation Chair

By Nathalie Pierrepont |

In yet another high-profile lateral hire, Kirkland & Ellis has lured away trial lawyer James Hurst from Winston & Strawn, his professional home for 25 years.

Penn State's Legal Fees Rack Up While Controversy Winds Down

By Nell Gluckman |

As UVA comes under fire for failing to investigate reports of sexual assault on campus, Penn State is trying to wind down a controversy of its own. DLA Piper released its ninth quarterly report on athletic integrity at the university, giving it a positive review of its progress. Meanwhile, firms such as Reed Smith, Saul Ewing, Duane Morris, Jenner & Block, along with DLA, will collect some of the $56 million—perhaps more—that Penn State now owes in legal and other fees.

The Churn

Skadden Adds Top French Dealmaker, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

A leading French M&A lawyer heads to Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in Paris; King & Spalding brings back a former partner and sees its M&A cohead head to the NFL; Squire Patton Boggs makes it rain Down Under and other notable hires from throughout The Am Law 200.

Sullivan & Cromwell, Cleary Meet Davis Polk on Associate Bonuses

By Nathalie Pierrepont |

Sullivan & Cromwell and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton match Davis Polk & Wardwell’s associate bonuses, surpassing the market standard for midlevel associates.

James Vincequerra (L) and Gerard Catalanello (R) of Duane Morris visiting the planned new home of the New York City Opera.

Two Am Law Firms Seek Another Season for New York City Opera

By Nell Gluckman |

After filling for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October 2013, the New York City Opera is one step closer to reopening for a 2015 season at Lincoln Center, thanks in part to pro bono lawyers at Lowenstein Sandler representing the opera and Duane Morris advising NYCO Renaissance, the new nonprofit group that has proposed paying $10,000 upfront and another $500,000 over the next 10 years to take over the opera.

Thompson Coburn Nabs Ex Krispy Kreme Franchisee Owner

By Nathalie Pierrepont |

Business litigation partner Richard Reinis, who once served as co-owner, chief executive officer and general counsel of the exclusive franchisee and area developer of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, has moved from Steptoe & Johnson to Thompson Coburn in Los Angeles.

Managing Partner Confidence in Legal Industry Slowly Grows

By Wenxiong Zhang |

Law firm managing partners showed slightly more confidence in the legal industry in the third quarter compared with the previous quarter, according to the latest survey by the Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group. However, concern about the sustainability of growing demand for legal services as well as increasing price discounting pressure continues to mount.

Duane Morris Relaunches UK Employment Practice With Partner Hire

By Chris Johnson |

Duane Morris has relaunched its employment practice in London with the hire of partner Elena Cooper from the U.K. base of Canadian firm Fasken Martineau.

Boies Schiller Confronts Media on Sony Data Breach

By Nathalie Pierrepont |

In response to an onslaught of reports about Sony’s hacked documents, Boies, Schiller & Flexner’s David Boies has sent a letter to news outlets demanding they stop using and destroy what he calls "stolen information." Whether the letter will have any effect remains to be seen.

Report: Legal Market Stabilizes, Poised for Growth in 2015

By Wenxiong Zhang |

A 2015 Client Advisory report by Citi Private Bank and Hildebrandt Consulting finds that the legal market has stabilized and will continue its modest growth in 2015 as firms further improve their services and management.

Paul Weiss Helps Ex-Partner Unload Stake in High-Speed Trader

By Brian Baxter |

Virtu Financial, a high-speed trading shop led by former Paul Weiss corporate partner Douglas Cifu, tapped the firm to handle its $180 million sale of a minority stake to Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, only months after it scuttled a $250 million initial public offering.

The Churn

Gibson Dunn, Kirkland Trade Blows; Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher grabbed a senior debt finance partner from Kirkland & Ellis in London, as the latter snatches Winston & Strawn’s litigation chair in Chicago; Jones Day beefs up in Miami; Sidley Austin snags six from Loeb & Loeb; a half-dozen lawyers leave firms for in-house jobs and more notable hires from throughout The Am Law 200.

Morgan Lewis

Bingham Pro Bono Cases Find New Home in Morgan Lewis

By Nell Gluckman |

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius will assume nearly 500 pro bono cases from Bingham McCutchen as part of its absorption of the firm, bringing the combined total of pro bono cases from both firms to as many as 1,500.

Lawyers Take Their Place on Year-End Lists of Top Hollywood, Sports Luminaries

By Brian Baxter |

Lawyers love their lists, and more than a few with Am Law 200 ties appear on annual compilations of dealmakers and powerbrokers by entertainment industry trade publications like The Hollywood Reporter, Variety and SportsBusiness Journal.

Michael J. Garcia

Raising Red Card, Kirkland Partner Quits FIFA Probe

By Nathalie Pierrepont |

Kirkland & Ellis partner and former top federal prosecutor Michael Garcia stepped down from his role as head of the investigatory branch of FIFA's ethics committee after the organization declined to consider his protest.

Gibson Dunn Grabs Another Star London Lateral

By Chris Johnson |

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher has continued to develop its London transactional practice with the addition of another senior partner, bringing in renowned leveraged finance expert Stephen Gillespie from Kirkland & Ellis.

Wintry Windfall: Cahill Rewards Associates With Bigger Bonuses

By Nathalie Pierrepont |

The Am Law 100's year-end associate bonus bonanza continued Friday as Cahill Gordon & Reindel once again blew past its competitors by rewarding its junior lawyers with a whopping wintry windfall ranging from $15,000 to $115,000.

Lawyer Dies in Sydney Siege

By Nathalie Pierrepont |

Katrina Dawson, an Australian barrister, was one of two killed Monday during the siege of the Lindt Chocolate Cafe in Sydney.

Dealmaker of the Week: Olivia Tyrrell of Baker & McKenzie

By Wenxiong Zhang |

Olivia Tyrrell, a 38-year-old corporate partner with Baker & McKenzie in Chicago, led a deal team from the firm composed almost entirely of women in advising pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. on its $9.5 billion buy of Cubist Pharmaceuticals.

The Churn

Paul Weiss Media Pro Heads to Vice Media, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

James Schwab, head of the media and entertainment practice at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, is poised to become president at Vice Media; a former Bingham McCutchen partner heads to the federal bench; Vorys Sater adds nine litigators in Houston; and other notable hires from throughout The Am Law 200.

As Detroit's Emergency Manager Departs, a Website Shuts Down

By Nell Gluckman |

Former Jones Day restructuring partner Kevyn Orr resigned as Detroit's emergency manager this week after the Motor City exited from bankruptcy proceedings. As Orr mulls his future, a website in his name that rankled his former firm over the summer—KevynOrr.com—has disappeared.

Am Law Firms Advise on Repsol's Canadian Energy Deal

By Julie Triedman |

Spain's Repsol SA will acquire Talisman Energy Inc., one of the largest remaining independent oil and gas firms in Calgary, for $12.9 billion. Repsol called upon Sullivan & Cromwell and Canadian firm Bennett Jones for advice, while Talisman turned to Norton Rose Fulbright, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Blake, Cassels & Graydon.

PetSmart, Riverbed LBOs a Boon to Half-Dozen Big Firms

By Brian Baxter |

Wachtell, Simpson Thacher, Schulte Roth, Skadden and Paul Hastings grabbed roles on the largest leveraged buyout for a U.S. company in 2014 as PetSmart, the nation's largest pet-store chain, on Sunday acquiesced to the demands of an activist investor and agreed to sell itself for $8.7 billion to a group led by private equity firm BC Partners. One day later, another activist fund headed by a Harvard Law School graduate prevailed in its bid to force an LBO at Riverbed Technology.

'Mr. Municipal Bankruptcy' Contemplates Detroit Work, Future

By Nell Gluckman |

Orr, the now former emergency manager of Detroit, reflects on his time restructuring the Motor City and what he will do next. Meanwhile, Detroit officials have renegotiated legal and consulting fees, the largest of which will go to Orr's former firm Jones Day.

The Women Partner Watch Honor Roll

By Aric Press |

Over the last three years the percentage of women lawyers promoted to Am Law 200 partnerships reached 32.7 percent. The last time we examined a similar sample at the start of 2012 we pegged the partner promotion rate at 30 percent. The progress, however, is spotty. Firms vary from year to year in the percentage of women they promote. Here are lists of firms that beat the average.

Nate Quarry (at right) in 2008

UFC Looks for Big Hitters to Batter Antitrust Suit

By Brian Baxter |

Slapped with a $100 million antitrust suit this week by a group of ex-fighters backed by a formidable team of plaintiffs lawyers, the Ultimate Fighting Championship and its Las Vegas-based parent company Zuffa LLC have commenced a beauty contest involving several top firms flexing their legal muscle in an effort to secure the lucrative defense work.

The Bingham Case Study: Part II

By Steven J. Harper |

Bingham McCutchen is now a case study in how quickly apparent success can turn to unambiguous failure.

Halla Visteon Climate Control Corp Lab

Skadden, Gibson Dunn, Weil Advise on Visteon Stake Sale

By Wenxiong Zhang |

Auto parts giant Visteon announced Wednesday the $3.6 billion sale of a 70 percent stake in Halla Visteon Climate Control Corp., a South Korean maker of air conditioning and heating systems for vehicles, to Hankook Tire and Korean private equity firm Hahn & Co. Weil, Gotshal & Manges is advising Hahn, while Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom has taken the lead for Visteon, whose financial adviser has turned to Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher for counsel.

IP Partner Involved in Client Dispute Leaves K&L Gates

By Nathalie Pierrepont |

Charles Holland, a former IP litigation partner with K&L Gates’ Palo Alto office, has joined the Strategic Innovation IP Law Offices in Silicon Valley following a dispute with a client about a conflict.