Top Stories

Big Law, Big Med, Big Mess

By Steven J. Harper |

Too many big law firms share an unfortunate attribute with big hospitals: a lost sense of mission.

Fred Leech (left) and his brother Tony Leech watch their children play Little League baseball in 2002.

Late Brother's Boutique Beckons Longtime Reed Smith Partner

By Brian Baxter |

Frederick Leech, a longtime Reed Smith partner in Pittsburgh and former head of the firm's investment management practice, recently left to become chair of the corporate group at Leech Tishman Fuscaldo & Lampl, a Steel City-based boutique founded in 1994 by his younger brother Tony Leech, who drowned 10 years later trying to save his two sons from a riptide in Costa Rica.

Deal Watch: Am Law 100 Foursome Feast on Heinz, Kraft Megamerger

By Jennifer Henderson |

Cravath, Swaine & Moore; Kirkland & Ellis; Munger, Tolles & Olson; and Sullivan & Cromwell have landed lead roles on the Warren Buffett-backed $40 billion union of H.J. Heinz and Kraft Foods.

Affirmative Action for White Conservatives?

By Vivia chen |

Legal academia is chock full of women and minorities.

The Bankruptcy Files: Oil Slide a Boon to Some Big Firms

By Brian Baxter |

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, Bracewell & Giuliani, Haynes and Boone, Kirkland & Ellis and Vinson & Elkins are some of the Am Law 200 firms that have snagged leading bankruptcy and restructuring roles in the struggling U.S. oil and gas sector.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: Kirkland's Performance Accelerates in 2014

By Susan Beck |

Kirkland & Ellis picked up momentum in 2014, with revenue increasing 6.6 percent, to $2.15 billion, and profits per partner lifting 7 percent, to $3.51 million, according to The American Lawyer's reporting. Revenue per lawyer increased 5.4 percent, to $1.365 million, while net income rose 8 percent, to $1.182 billion.

London skyline

Jenner & Block to Launch in London

By Chris Johnson |

The Chicago-based firm has announced that it will open a disputes-focused office in London later this spring to meet the increasing international needs of its clients.

Why Don't Clients Pressure Firms to Diversify?

By Vivia Chen |

There are few consequences from clients when firms fall far short of diversity goals.

Djibouti

Gibson Dunn Partner Suspended for Mishandling Djibouti Case

By Jennifer Henderson |

A British high court judge has reversed an order freezing the assets of Djibouti businessman Abdourahman Boreh after finding that a Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher partner knowingly presented faulty evidence implicating Boreh in a 2009 grenade attack.

The Churn

Am Law 100 Pair Keep Poaching, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

King & Spalding and Winston & Strawn continue their recent hiring sprees; Latham & Watkins lands one partner and lose two others; a longtime Reed Smith partner departs; Stroock snags a Goldman Sachs alum from Kirkland & Ellis; Wilmer brings back another former federal regulator; and other notable additions from throughout The Am Law 200.

Latham Pro Bono Work Helps StoryCorps Launch App

By Nell Gluckman |

Thanks to a $1 million TED Prize grant, StoryCorps has launched an app that will allow users to record personal interviews directly into their phones, many of which will be archived at the Library of Congress. Latham & Watkins, which has served as pro bono counsel for StoryCorps since 2008, helped with a range of IP issues.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: Mintz Levin Holds Flat Amid Partner Moves

By Nell Gluckman |

For Mintz Levin, 2014 was a relatively flat year financially amid notable changes in the partnership ranks. Gross revenue inched up by 1.9 percent, to $316 million, while revenue per lawyer and profits per partner each increased by less than a percent to $760,000 and $955,000, respectively.

Five More Attorneys Defect to Winston & Strawn from Pillsbury

By Nell Gluckman |

Winston & Strawn has confirmed its hire of Mats Carlston as co-chairman of its global finance practice, in addition to five more hires from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. Carlston spoke with The Am Law Daily about his move, which follows a group of 11 corporate, finance and private equity partners jumping to Winston & Strawn from Pillsbury earlier this month.

Faegre Baker Grows Chicago Office With Nine Lateral Hires

By Jennifer Henderson |

The Minneapolis-based firm has hired nine partners from four firms, including Locke Lord Edwards, Morgan Lewis & Bockius, Seyfarth Shaw and Ulmer & Berne. With the new additions, Faegre Baker's Chicago office will grow to almost 60 lawyers.

Up in Smoke: Polsinelli Partners Tout Medical Marijuana Startup

By Nell Gluckman |

A year ago, Teddy Scott Jr. and John Leja had corner offices and leadership positions in Polisinelli’s IP practice in Chicago. Now they’ve quit their jobs to found and run a medical marijuana company, taking partner Jeremy Unruh with them to serve as general counsel. The company has raised $20 million from investors and received licenses from the state of Illinois to operate two cultivation sites and four dispensaries.

The Churn

Lewis Brisbois Lands in Wichita, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

Kutak Rock loses eight of its nine lawyers in Wichita to growing Am Law 200 firm Lewis Brisbois; Cahill makes a rare partner hire; Kasowitz and Polsinelli partners take entrepreneurial turns; musical chairs at McDermott; and other notable hires from throughout The Am Law 200.

King & Spalding Snags Pair of McDermott Litigators

By Brian Baxter |

Bobby Burchfield, a management committee member and head of the complex litigation group at McDermott Will & Emery, has left the firm with partner Matthew Leland for King & Spalding. Burchfield joins the firm nearly four years after the departure of former top litigator Paul Clement. His departure from McDermott comes on the heels of a pair of IP partners defecting for Paul Hastings and as McDermott seeks to ramp up its private client practice.

Cahill Taps Cadwalader for Securities Enforcement Head

By Brian Baxter |

Bradley Bondi, head of the securities enforcement and investigation group at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, has joined Cahill Gordon & Reindel in a rare lateral hire by the Wall Street firm. Bondi, who will work out of New York and Washington, D.C., will lead Cahill’s securities enforcement and regulatory group.

L. Okey Onyejekwe Jr.

From Kasowitz to Kickstarter: Iraq Vet Eyes Medical Records Revolution

L. Okey Onyejekwe Jr., an Iraq War veteran and IP litigation partner with Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman in Silicon Valley, left the firm last month to focus on Zobreus Medical Corp., a startup mobile and health technology company that launched a Kickstarter campaign this week to revolutionize medical records.

Amid Defections, McDermott Adds Practice Head, Eyeing Future Growth

By Nell Gluckman |

Nearly four years to the day after McDermott Will & Emery took on the entire private client practice of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, the former has hired Holland & Knight's international private client practice leader Leigh-Alexandra Basha in Washington, D.C. The move comes as many Am Law 200 firms have reevaluated their private client and trusts and estates practices, and as McDermott braces for some other partner departures.

Deal Watch: One Skadden Client Ousts Another in Duel for Salix

By Jennifer Henderson |

Our latest roundup of transactions sees Skadden client Valeant Pharmaceuticals International prevail over fellow firm client Endo International in its bid for Salix Pharmaceuticals, while Latham & Watkins, Ropes & Gray and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett advise several private equity clients on their proposed acquisitions of Chicago’s Willis Tower and Life Time Fitness.

Robinson & Cole Picks Up Data Protection Group Head

By Nell Gluckman |

Robinson & Cole has poached privacy and data protection group head Linn Freedman from Nixon Peabody. Freedman will lead Robinson & Cole’s newly formed privacy and security data team, following in the footsteps of a number of Am Law 200 firms that have made hires in a practice area that barely existed several years ago.

Top Israeli Lawyer Comes Up Short in Bid to Beat Bibi

By Brian Baxter |

Yitzhak “Isaac” Herzog comes from one of Israel’s most powerful political families—one likened to the Kennedys—but the former senior partner at leading local law firm Herzog Fox & Ne'eman was unable to unseat Benjamin Netanyahu as the country’s prime minister after elections Tuesday. Nonetheless, Herzog’s Zionist Union performed strongly at the polls, and he could still be a key kingmaker.

Goodwin Procter Slashes 2 Percent of Workforce

By Nell Gluckman and Brian Baxter |

The Am Law 100 firm announced Wednesday that it would let go off 21 lawyers and 17 professional staffers from its litigation department.

Latham & Watkins Plans Middle East Consolidation

By Jennifer Henderson |

Latham & Watkins will shrink its number of offices in the Middle East from four to two, leaving the firm with locations in Saudi Arabia’s capital city of Riyadh as well as in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

INTERACTIVE CHART: How Top New York Firms Fared in 2014

The Am Law Daily drills down the financials for 17 of the biggest New York-based firms, which collectively outperformed their rivals in 2014. Revenue grew an average of 4.5 percent at these firms while profits per partner rose 5.6 percent, according to our reporting.

Rajesh De

Mayer Brown Brings Back NSA's Top Lawyer

By Brian Baxter |

After nearly three years as general counsel for the National Security Agency, Rajesh "Raj" De is returning to Mayer Brown, a firm where he first made partner in October 2007.

Victor Kovner

Filmmakers Turn to Davis Wright Partner on Controversial HBO Documentaries

By Nell Gluckman |

Victor Kovner of Davis Wright Tremaine is the lawyer behind "The Jinx," an HBO documentary series about real estate heir Robert Durst, who was arrested on murder charges one day before the final episode aired. He also vetted "Citizenfour," a documentary about whistleblower Edward Snowden that recently won an Oscar.

The Churn

Polsinelli Sets Up Shop in Raleigh, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

After raiding Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough for five health care partners, fast-growing Polinselli will open an office in Raleigh; Gibson Dunn and Winston & Strawn add new practice leaders; the NSA's top lawyer returns to Mayer Brown; three former federal prosecutors flock to Robins Kaplan and Wilmer; and other notable hires from throughout The Am Law 200.

Robins Kaplan's New Dakota Offices to Serve American Indian Tribes

By Jennifer Henderson |

The firm has opened an office in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, with plans to open another in Bismarck, North Dakota. The Minneapolis-based firm’s newest outposts will be led by the former U.S. attorneys for South Dakota and North Dakota, Brendan Johnson and Timothy Purdon, respectively.

Ex-Sidley Partner Gets One-Year Suspension for Faking Expenses

By Nell Gluckman |

A former Sidley Austin real estate partner who admitted to faking nearly $70,000 in expenses has been suspended for one year by the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission in Illinois.

Jones Day Launches Same-Sex Marriage Website

By Jennifer Henderson |

The firm has launched a website that provides information on how same-sex relationships are legally recognized in nearly 300 jurisdictions worldwide.

Computer Hack in Kazakhstan Exposes Client Emails with Curtis

Emails between Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle and its client, the Republic of Kazakhstan, were posted online in January after that government’s computers were hacked. Kazakhstan’s counsel at Curtis says in a complaint filed Thursday against the alleged hackers that some of the emails contained privileged and confidential attorney-client communications.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: Partner Profits Soar at Winston & Strawn

By Susan Beck |

After seeing gross revenue and profits per partner sink in 2013, Winston & Strawn enjoyed a rebound year in 2014, as the firm posted big gains in several key financial metrics. While the firm's equity partnership decreased for a seventh straight year, Winston & Strawn recently added a dozen partners to its ranks following a raid on Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman.

In Unique Deal, Morgan Lewis Merges With Singapore's Stamford Law

By Brian Baxter and Anna Zhang |

Having just absorbed the bulk of Bingham McCutchen, a first-of-its-kind merger now awaits Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, which will announce a union Monday with Singapore's Stamford Law Corp. The combination will make Morgan Lewis the largest global firm in the city-state and the only one with the capacity to practice local law across a range of practice areas.

The Churn

Musical Chairs at McKenna Long, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

McKenna Long & Aldridge, poised to vote Monday on a union with Dentons, saw two new partners depart because of conflicts; Morgan Lewis lures eight partners in Dallas ahead of another merger in Singapore; Winston & Strawn poaches 10 more partners from Pillsbury; and other notable moves from throughout The Am Law 200.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: Cahill's Revenue, Profits Slip After Two Record Years

By Jennifer Henderson |

Cahill Gordon & Reindel's revenue and profitability showed modest declines last year, with gross revenue down 1.7 percent, to $380 million, while profits per partner dropped 4.4 percent, to $3.62 million in 2014. The firm's head count was up 1.6 percent to 327 lawyers in 2014, from 322 the previous year.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: Fried Frank's Rebound Continues

By Brian Baxter |

Having just completed his first year as chairman of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, David Greenwald is happy with his firm's "realignment." Fried Frank, which in January announced plans to shutter its offices in Asia, saw gross revenue remain flat in 2014, although profits per partner and revenue per lawyer both hit the highest marks in the firm's history.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: Elite New York Firms Once Again Break From the Pack

By Julie Triedman |

The top New York-centered firms outperformed their rivals in 2014. Revenue grew an average of 4.5 percent at 17 top firms based in the Big Apple, while profits per partner rose 5.6 percent, according to reporting by The American Lawyer.

To Satisfy Clients, Law Firms Submit to Cybersecurity Scrutiny

By Nell Gluckman |

At least a dozen Am Law 200 and Magic Circle firms have attained a certification called ISO 27001 to demonstrate they're taking steps toward protecting their documents and communication systems from security breaches, and at least 21 more are in the process of seeking the certification. But even those measures are not enough for some of their biggest bank clients, which demand even tougher standards to guard against cyberattacks.

Deal Watch: Skadden Advising Endo and Valeant, With Both Vying for Salix

By Jennifer Henderson |

Our latest roundup of transactions sees Sullivan & Cromwell, Skadden, Freshfields and Davis Polk take the lead for companies in the analytics, entertainment and pharmaceutical sectors.

Michigan Bumped Out of Top 10 Law School List

By Vivia Chen |

Law school rankings are out. And everyone is complaining.

Goodwin Procter Grabs Another Partner From Kenyon & Kenyon

By Nell Gluckman |

Marcia Sundeen, head of Kenyon & Kenyon’s International Trade Commission practice, joins five recently departed former colleagues at Goodwin Procter.

Jones Day to Open Detroit Office

By Jennifer Henderson |

The firm, which racked up $57.9 million in fees as lead counsel to Detroit in its historic bankruptcy filing, will open its new office on July 1. Tim Melton, partner in the firm's capital markets practice in Chicago, will head up the Detroit office.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman's Washington, D.C. offices at 1200 17th St. NW. December 8, 2014. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.

Winston Poaches 11-Partner Team From Pillsbury

By Brian Baxter |

Less than a week after Winston & Strawn hired Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman's structured products practice head, it is poised to pick up another 10 corporate, finance and private equity partners from the same firm.

Jayanthi Sadanandan

Latham & Watkins Appoints New London Managing Partner

By Chris Johnson |

Latham & Watkins has appointed finance partner Jay Sadanandan as the new head of its London office, replacing corporate partner Nick Cline, who finished a five-year term as office managing partner in February.

The Churn

Two Texas Partners Leave Vinson, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

Sidley Austin and Katten Muchin Rosenman snag Vinson & Elkins partners in Houston; Honigman adds a former U.S. senator; K&L Gates bags eight lawyers in two cities; Mayer Brown and Chadbourne & Parke make additions in Mexico City; and other notable moves from throughout The Am Law 200.

Mayer Brown Expands Energy Practice Into Mexico City

By Nell Gluckman |

Recent reforms to the energy industry in Mexico have prompted Mayer Brown to establish an office in the country's capital city. Last year, Mexico opened up exploration and production to foreign investment for the first time in 75 years.

Latham, Kirkland Face Off in Hostile Bid for Retail REIT

By Jennifer Henderson |

Latham & Watkins is advising Simon Property Group Inc. in its $22.4 billion hostile bid for retail real estate investment trust The Macerich Company, which has turned to Kirkland & Ellis for counsel.

Law Firm Lawsuit-Palooza: Plaintiffs Attorney Goes After O'Melveny a Third Time

By Nell Gluckman |

Our latest roundup of litigation in which Am Law 200 firms are either defendants or plaintiffs includes an attempt to revive a case against O'Melveny & Myers; assertions that Dorsey & Whitney should share their client BIAX Corp.'s pain; and allegations of negligence against Baker Botts and Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel.

News and Gossip

By Vivia Chen |

Five firms on Fortune's list; the hubris of law grads; Amal's latest gig.

Head Count Winners and Losers: Morgan Lewis Makes Gains at Bingham's Expense

By Brian Baxter |

Firms that saw the biggest head count losses in the past five months include Bingham McCutchen and Edwards Wildman Palmer, according to data compiled by ALM's RivalEdge. Not surprisingly, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, which absorbed 226 attorneys from Bingham McCutchen late last year, made the biggest gains.

Legal Sector Gains 3,100 Jobs in February

By Nell Gluckman |

The legal sector reversed two consecutive months of declines, according to seasonally adjusted preliminary data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Churn

Littler Goes to Guatemala, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

Littler Mendelson's Swiss verein enters Guatemala, as the global labor and employment firm loses a six-lawyer team in Atlanta; Covington & Burling opens in Los Angeles; Paul Hastings' hiring spree extends to Brazil; and other notable additions from throughout The Am Law 200.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: O'Melveny Down, But Eyes Rebound

By Brian Baxter |

O'Melveny & Myers saw gross revenue, profits per partner, revenue per lawyer and attorney head count all fall in 2014 as the firm sought to refill a pipeline of high-end litigation work. Bradley Butwin, chairman of the firm, spoke with The Am Law Daily about O'Melveny's performance and its outlook for the future.

Norton Rose Fulbright Brings on Ex-Bingham COO in Houston

By Nell Gluckman |

Norton Rose Fulbright hired Tracee Whitley as its U.S. chief of operations, a role she occupied at Bingham McCutchen before most of that firm's attorneys were absorbed by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius late last year.

Dealmaker of the Week: David Lam of Wachtell

By Jennifer Henderson |

Lam, a corporate partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, led the team advising AbbVie Inc. in its $21 billion acquisition of Pharmacyclics Inc.

Paul Hastings' Hiring Spree Continues With Magic Circle Raid

By Brian Baxter |

The Los Angeles-based firm, which saw partner profits rise 8.5 percent in 2014, has picked up three partners from Allen & Overy and a new office in Brazil in the wake of other recent hires of note from Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson and Shearman & Sterling.

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 profits 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 cyberthreats 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.

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?

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.

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.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: Paul Hastings’ Revenue Surpasses $1 Billion

By Nell Gluckman |

Paul Hastings’ gross revenue passed surpassed $1 billion mark, with gross revenue increasing by 6.3 percent, revenue per lawyer growing by 8 percent and partner profits and partner profits increasing by 8.5 percent. At the same time, the firm’s total number of lawyers was down by 16, though the number of partners increased by seven.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: Nixon Peabody’s Revenue Dips, But Partner Profits Climb

By Jennifer Henderson |

Nixon Peabody, which earlier this month absorbed a 100-lawyer Chicago firm, saw gross revenue and net income slip slightly in 2014, but profits per partner rose 7 percent.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: Milbank Sees Spike in Revenue, Profits

By Susan Beck |

For the second straight year, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy produced significant growth in revenue and profits. Gross revenue in 2014 was up 7.8 percent, to $761 million, while revenue per lawyer rose 3.8 percent, to $1.24 million. Profits per partner increased 7 percent, to $2.745 million, on net income of $395 million, an increase of 12.4 percent.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: Kasowitz's Revenues Get Big Bounce From FHFA Settlements

By Scott Flaherty |

After taking a hit in 2013, the litigation-focused Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman saw its gross revenue grow 14.6 percent in 2014 as the firm finalized two massive mortgage-backed securities settlements on behalf of the U.S. Federal Housing and Finance Agency.

David Cornwell

Leading Sports Lawyer Joins Barnes & Thornburg

By Brian Baxter |

Wm. David Cornwell Sr., a prominent litigator in the sports world with a stable of all-star clients, is leaving Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani for Barnes & Thornburg. Gordon Rees, which acquired Cornwell’s Atlanta-based firm three years ago, sued former Cornwell client Alex Rodriguez last week for $380,000 in legal fees stemming from his representation of the New York Yankees star last year.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: Shearman Builds on Breakout 2013

By Michael D. Goldhaber |

Shearman & Sterling climbed another rung up the profitability ladder in 2014, boosting profits per partner by 5.8 percent, from $1.8 million to about $1.9 million last year. The firm recorded more modest increases of 1.5 percent in revenue per lawyer and 3 percent in gross revenue.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: Shook Hardy's Partner Profits Take Another Dip

By MP McQueen |

The Kansas City, Missouri-based firm posted a 3 percent decline in PPP in 2014 while gross revenue grew 2.4 percent. Revenue per lawyer declined 1.4 percent and the firm added 18 attorneys to its head count. Shook Hardy's financial results come amid an announcement Tuesday that it would absorb Chicago-based complex commercial litigation boutique Grippo & Elden.

The Churn

Ropes & Gray Ramps Up in Data Security, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

A data privacy expert joins Ropes & Gray on the West Coast; a former Bingham McCutchen practice leader lands at Mayer Brown; Epstein Becker & Green's 15-lawyer raid lands it an office in Princeton; Cleary Gottlieb hires a former Sullivan & Cromwell tax partner and other notable moves from throughout The Am Law 200.

O’Melveny Smoothes Way for Title Bout Between Pacquiao, Mayweather

By Brian Baxter |

Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr., have agreed to a May 2 bout that could generate $400 million in gross revenue, making it the richest boxing match in history. O’Melveny & Myers represented Pacquiao and Top Rank Boxing—a boxing promotional company headed by a Harvard Law School graduate that just hired its new general counsel from the firm—on the deal, which comes after years of legal machinations between both fighters.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: Latham Gives Bob Dell a Spectacular Sendoff

By Michael D. Goldhaber |

In Robert Dell’s final year as global chair, Latham & Watkins posted a record-high in gross revenue by hitting the $2.6 billion mark, as profits per partner, revenue per lawyer and net income also saw big gains.

UNC-Chapel Hill Turns to Skadden for Ongoing Litigation

By Nell Gluckman |

A Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom team led by litigation partner Patrick Fitzgerald will represent the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in litigation, accreditation and regulatory matters resulting from a 2014 investigation by Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft attorneys that revealed two decades of academic fraud at the university.

Big Law's Top 10 Law Schools

By Vivia Chen |

Big Law's favorite 10 schools. Plus, the 10 underdog schools that outperform their ranking.

Law Jobs See Lag in Recovery

Legal employment is still well below its pre-recession peak and is more or less flat, while non-farm employment is strongly rebounding, according to recent average quarterly government figures.

The Churn

Greenberg Traurig Grows in Chicago, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

A Chicago boutique is absorbed by Greenberg Traurig; a Gibson Dunn practice leader heads out on his own; Sidley Austin and Steptoe & Johnson each add a trio; and other notable hires from throughout The Am Law 200.

Steven Harper

Men Make Plans—God Laughs

By Steven J.Harper |

This post isn't about law schools, big law firms, or even the legal profession. Rather, it begins a new series that will end—well, I'm not sure when it will end—but I have a pretty good idea how it will end. A few days ago, I received an unfortunate diagnosis: pancreatic cancer.

David Boies

David Boies Dabbles in Hollywood Through Film Company

By Nell Gluckman |

About three years ago, the chairman and founder of Boies, Schiller & Flexner teamed up with Zack Schiller, son of the firm's other founder, Jonathan Schiller, to create the Boies/Schiller Film Group, which is set to release "Jane Got a Gun," starring Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor, on Sept. 4.

Charles Mulaney and Michael Hatchard

Dealmakers of the Week: Charles Mulaney Jr. and Michael Hatchard of Skadden

By Jennifer Henderson |

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom's Mulaney and Hatchard led the way for Broomfield, Colorado-based Ball Corp. in its $6.8 billion acquisition of fellow can maker Rexam PLC.

Latham, Munger Lead on Latest NFL Stadium Plan

By Brian Baxter |

The National Football League left Los Angeles in 1995, but if the league's San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders have their way, the two franchises will play in a new $1.7 billion stadium just south of the city’s downtown in Carson, California. The privately financed project, announced by both teams Friday, has led to roles for at least two Am Law 100 firms.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: Gibson Dunn's Steady Growth Continues

By Scott Flaherty |

Continuing a trend of modest financial growth, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher posted gross revenue of $1.466 billion in 2014, up 5.7 percent from the previous year, with profits per partner coming in at $3.05 million, a 3.4 percent increase. Revenue per lawyer inched up 1.3 percent, to $1.22 million last year, from $1.2 million in 2013.

Kirkland Bankruptcy Bigwig Retires, but Big Assignments (and Fees) Abound

By Brian Baxter |

Richard Cieri, a longtime leader of Kirkland & Ellis’ vaunted corporate restructuring group who joined the firm a decade ago this month, is retiring on a high note. Cieri's departure comes at a time when Kirkland’s bankruptcy practice is booming, with recent filings in the Chapter 11 cases of Caesars Entertainment and Energy Future Holdings showing at least $40 million flowing into the firm's coffers.