Top Stories

McKenna Long, Dentons Looking 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 looking to combine 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.

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.

Deal Watch: Skadden, Freshfields Advise Pair of Can Makers on $6.8 Billion Deal

By Jennifer Henderson |

Ball Corp.’s acquisition of fellow can maker Rexum PLC tops our latest roundup of deals worth $1 billion or more, with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom advising on the most number of deals.

Best and Worst Cities for Women and Minorities

By Vivia Chen |

Be careful where you launch your career. Location matters.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: White & Case Breaks Barriers

By Michael Goldhaber |

For White & Case, 2014 was a landmark year. For the first time, the firm saw gross revenue, revenue per lawyer and profits per partner hit new highs.

Three Energy Partners Depart Cadwalader for Sidley Austin

By Nell Gluckman |

A trio of high-profile energy partners based in Washington, D.C., is joining Sidley Austin from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, a firm that saw partner profits decline in 2014. The three will be reunited with partner Robert Stephens, who left his post as head of Cadwalader's Houston office for Sidley Austin in January.

Schiff Hardin Makes Way for First Female Managing Partner

By Jennifer Henderson |

The firm has elected Marci Eisenstein to succeed Ronald Safer, who had served as managing partner for a decade. Eisenstein is the first female to assume the role in Schiff Hardin's 150-year history.

Slater & Gordon Expands Amid New Push for Publicly Traded Firms

By Brian Baxter |

Australia’s Slater & Gordon, the world’s first publicly traded law firm, is headed to Wales after acquiring a pair of personal injury shops in the U.K. The move comes as a co-founder of a prominent U.S. litigation finance firm calls for the adoption of alternative business structures by U.S. law firms.

The Churn

Firm Refugees Find New Homes, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

Big firms take on more partners from Bingham McCutchen and Edwards Wildman Palmer; Dentons heads to Northern Virginia; King & Spalding snags a rival's IP litigation co-head; and other notable hires from throughout The Am Law 200.

Minorities in Big Law: Few and Fewer

By Vivia Chen |

Study finds that fewer blacks and Hispanics are going to top schools.

Chadbourne Staffer Banned from Law Firms After Caught Stealing

By Nell Gluckman |

The accounts manager in London who stole $15,360 from Chadbourne & Parke has been banned from working at any law firm.

The Churn

Dickstein Shapiro Continues to See Departures, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

Dickstein Shapiro's deputy IP practice leader joins Arent Fox; Brown Rudnick brings on two 'Big Short' litigators; Latham & Watkins hires in London; and other notable additions from throughout The Am Law 200. On the Move is compiled from law firm announcements and reporting. Please send all memos and news releases to thechurn@alm.com.

Brian Williams

Brian Williams Taps Media Elite Go-To Partner at Williams & Connolly

By Nell Gluckman |

The embattled anchor of NBC’s "Nightly News" has retained Williams & Connolly’s Robert Barnett to help negotiate his future at the network. Barnett is a high-profile jack-of-all-trades whose clients have included President Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. He's also represented NBC News exec Deborah Turness, Williams’ boss.

stacks of cash

Akin, Covington, Paul Weiss Score Big Fees for NFL Work

By Brian Baxter |

Two weeks after the Super Bowl, the National Football League released its most recent tax filing, which shows that Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, Covington & Burling and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison are reaping the benefits from their off-the-field gridiron efforts.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: Davis Polk Posts Record-High Revenue, PPP

By Julie Triedman |

For a fifth consecutive year, Davis Polk & Wardwell's profitability and revenue rose by significant margins, with the firm's revenue surpassing the $1 billion mark for the first time. Average profits per partner came in at $3.29 million, a record high for the firm. Revenue rose from $975 million in 2013 to $1.072 billion last year.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: Baker & Hostetler's Revenue Up, Profits Down

By Susan Beck and Nell Gluckman |

The firm's gross revenue climbed 7.2 percent in 2014 while profits per partner dropped 13.4 percent. Firm chair R. Steven Kestner attributes the PPP falloff to a big contingency fee settlement that Baker & Hostetler reached with the trustee of Howrey. Revenue per lawyer, meanwhile, was down 2.2 percent, while head count was up 10 percent, in part because of a merger with an IP firm.

Detroit Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes

Judge OKs Detroit’s $178 Million in Bankruptcy Fees

By Nell Gluckman |

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes ruled on Thursday that the controversial legal and consulting fees incurred by the Motor City during its bankruptcy proceedings are reasonable considering the complexity of the case.

Deal Watch: Four Firms Advise on Harris' Buy of Defense Contractor

By Jennifer Henderson |

Our latest roundup of M&A deals worth $1 billion or more includes Am Law firms advising on Harris Corp.'s $4.75 billion buy of Exelis, Inc.; Rite Aid's $2 billion acquisition of pharmacy benefits manager Envision Pharmaceutical Services; and Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.'s $1.76 billion acquisition of five hotel properties from a group of sellers. Latham led the way in terms of deal volume and transaction size.

Should Firms Ban Sex Between Partners and Associates?

By Vivia Chen |

Harvard now bans certain relationships. Should Big Law do the same?

Hogan Lovells Introduces Community Service Mandate to All Employees

By Nell Gluckman |

The firm has put in place a new policy that requires each of its more than 5,000 employees in about 25 countries to devote 25 hours per year to community service. The policy is unique because it does not just apply to lawyers, and it will encompass the international offices.

Citi Report: M&A Work Boosts Firm Profitability in 2014

By John Wilmouth |

Stronger industry performance in 2014 caused bigger smiles at more firms than in 2013. Net income and profits per equity partner were up 6 percent and 5.7 percent, respectively, compared with 3.2 percent and 3.5 percent in 2013. In fact, profitability performance was the strongest since 2010, especially among firms with significant transactional practices.

Nashville Sees a Frenzy of Lateral Activity

By Jennifer Henderson |

Firms such as Burr & Forman and Butler, Snow, O'Mara, Stevens and Cannada are expanding their presence in the Music City, contributing to a recent spike in lateral activity since the start of the year.

The Churn

Holland & Knight Heads to Denver, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

Fresh off successful financial years in 2014, Holland & Knight opens a Denver office with six lawyers from Lathrop & Gage; Akin plucks a practice leader from Paul Hastings; Covington & Burling adds a former federal prosecutor; a handful of departures from Dickstein Shapiro; Kirkland & Ellis grows in London; and other notable hires from throughout The Am Law 200.

Women with $6 Million in Business Are Closing Pay Gap

By Vivia Chen |

Are firms showing women partners more respect? Maybe.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: Mayer Brown Partner Profits Grow by Double Digits

By Susan Beck |

For the second straight year, Mayer Brown posted a double-digit rise in profits per partner, as gross revenue also increased. The firm's revenue was up 6.7 percent, to $1.223 billion and profits per partner jumped 12.8 percent, to $1.45 million. Revenue per lawyer increased 5.8 percent to $825,000, while net income moved up 17.4 percent to $405.5 million.

Leigh Sprague (Left) and Douglas Sprague (Right)

A Tale of Two Spragues: One Lands at Covington, the Other in Prison

By Nell Gluckman |

Former federal prosecutor Douglas Sprague joined Covington & Burling as a white-collar defense and investigations partner in San Francisco. In one of his more memorable cases, Sprague prosecuted Leigh Sprague, a former Coudert Brothers and LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae associate who embezzled $10 million from a prominent Russian oligarch he worked for in Moscow.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: For Sidley, It's Another Year of Growth

By Susan Beck |

Sidley Austin's financials were up on all counts last year, with gross revenue climbing 9.5 percent, to $1.753 billion, and revenue per lawyer increasing 5.3 percent, to $995,000. Profit per partner improved 6.1 percent, to $1.99 million, while net income rose 11.2 percent, to $608 million.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: Paul Weiss Rides Robust Workload to Record Highs

By Julie Triedman |

With an array of major litigation, regulatory and transactional matters having its lawyers going full-throttle, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison broke the billion-dollar mark in gross revenue last year and set new records for partner profitability and attorney head count.

The Churn

Squire Patton Boggs Health Care Leaders Defect, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

Jones Day and Polsinelli pick up a pair of Squire Patton Boggs health care practice leaders; Dickinson Wright and Jackson Lewis prepare for new offices; Paul Weiss picks up a top federal prosecutor; Willkie Farr makes another hire in Houston; and other notable additions from throughout The Am Law 200.

Katy Perry Hires Greenberg Traurig to Reel in 'Left Shark' Vendor

By Nell Gluckman |

An Orlando artist who used a 3D printer to recreate and sell figurines of the bumbling shark that danced behind Katy Perry during the Super Bowl halftime show has incurred the wrath of the pop star’s lawyers at Greenberg Traurig. In a letter to the alleged copyright infringer, they write that Perry has exclusive rights to the shark images and costumes seen in her halftime show.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: Profits, Revenue Bounce Back for Jenner & Block

By Susan Beck |

Jenner & Block recorded a remarkable jump in revenue and profits in 2014. The improved results were in part due to its work for General Motors Corp. investigating the carmaker's ignition switch problem, which was led by Jenner chairman Anton Valukas. The firm's ranks of partners and lawyers also took a dip during this time.

Dealmaker of the Week: Marko Zatylny of Ropes & Gray

By Jennifer Henderson |

Zatylny advised New York-based pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. in its $15.2 billion acquisition of Hospira, giving it a foothold in the international sterile injectables market.

Asia: One Firm Goes Big as Another Goes Home

By Steven J. Harper |

Fried Frank and Dentons have implemented dramatically different China strategies. Maybe they're both correct.

Legal Sector Loses 1,400 Jobs in January

By Nell Gluckman |

After showing some modest gains in December, legal sector jobs were down by 1,400 in January, according to seasonally adjusted preliminary data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are now 1.118 million people employed in that sector.

Am Law 100 Firms Tune In For RadioShack Bankruptcy

By Brian Baxter |

The music finally stopped at RadioShack late Thursday, as Jones Day grabbed a lead role for the 94-year-old consumer electronics retailer as it began bankruptcy proceedings in Delaware. The Fort Worth-based company has agreed to sell 1,500 stores to Sprint and hedge fund shareholder Standard General in a Chapter 11 case that's also yielded roles for Debevoise & Plimpton and Pepper Hamilton.

Oil in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Panel Sparks Ethics Debate in Chevron-Ecuador Litigation

By Emily Barker |

Even without controversial plaintiffs attorney Steven Donziger in the room, both sides in the heated battle between Chevron and Ecuadorian litigants came out swinging during a legal ethics panel at LegalTech New York on Thursday.

Deal Watch: Am Law Firms Advise on Pfizer's Bid for Hospira

By Jennifer Henderson |

This week's roundup of deals worth $1 billion or more includes Am Law firms working on a $15.2 billion pharmaceutical transaction between Pfizer and Hospira; a $10.54 billion telecom deal between Frontier and Verizon; a $7.3 billion asset sale by building material manufacturers Holcim and Lafarge; and a $6.3 billion merger between Staples and Office Depot.

Dentons, Shearman See Africa Rising

By Julie Triedman |

The two Am Law 100 firms are poised to set up shop in Johannesburg and Cairo, respectively.

Vegas Bust: After Departures, Lionel Sawyer Enters Bankruptcy

By Brian Baxter |

A month after Fennemore Craig took on the bulk of Lionel Sawyer & Collins, the prominent Nevada firm finally went bust, filing for bankruptcy in Las Vegas. Lionel Sawyer, known for its gaming expertise, plans to liquidate the rest of its operations in Chapter 7.

Does Your Boss Have Your Back?

By Vivia Chen |

Study finds that bosses who support their employees get better results.

Lead Energy Finance Attorney Heads to Willkie's Houston Office

By Nell Gluckman |

After a six-month stint at Bracewell & Giuliani, Michael Niebruegge has joined Willkie Farr & Gallagher's office in Houston, which opened in November. Niebruegge had been one of a couple of Houston-based defectors from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, which recently posted a 15 percent decline in profits per partner for 2014.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: Polsinelli's Revenue Soars While PPP Dips

By Susan Beck |

Fast-growing Polsinelli continued expanding in 2014, with revenue jumping 13.4 percent to $368 million for its fiscal year ending Oct. 31. The Kansas City, Mo.-based firm has more than doubled its revenue since 2010. Meanwhile, profits per partner dropped 5 percent to $650,000, partly due to the equity partner ranks rising by nearly 7 percent to 112.

The Churn

Locke Lord Lures Boies Litigator, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

Boies Schiller & Flexner partner Kathleen Smalley is headed to newly merged Locke Lord; Davis Polk poaches Greenberg Traurig's real estate chair in New York; three DLA Piper finance lawyers depart; Littler Mendelson heads to Maine; and other notable moves from throughout The Am Law 200.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: Cadwalader's Partner Profits Take a Hit

By Nell Gluckman |

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft saw profits per partner decline by 15.3 percent in 2014 while gross revenue remained flat. Revenue per lawyer was down by 3.2 percent. At the same time, attorney head count climbed by 3.4 percent.

Clifford Chance, Pillsbury Add DLA Piper Finance Trio

By Brian Baxter |

DLA Piper has been active on the lateral hiring front this year, but the global legal giant saw three finance lawyers leave its robust ranks this week for Magic Circle firm Clifford Chance and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. One partner heading to Pillsbury was caught up in a high-profile overbilling suit filed against DLA Piper by a former client in 2013.

Moose Call: Littler Lands Five-Lawyer Team for Maine Office

By Jennifer Henderson |

Littler Mendelson is opening an office in Portland, Maine, after scooping up five lawyers from national labor and employment rival Fisher & Phillips.

Latham Bags Four to Bolster IP, Private Equity Groups

By Brian Baxter |

A month after seeing its longtime leader retire, Latham & Watkins lured four key partners to its ranks in Germany and Washington, D.C., with raids on Magic Circle firm Clifford Chance and noted IP litigation shop Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner.

John Attanasio

Ex-SMU Law Dean Entangled in Prostitution Scandal + More News

By Vivia Chen |

Another leading academic in sex scandal; Norton Rose's Chinese problem; names banned in France.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: McDermott's Revenue Spikes While Head Count Drops

By Susan Beck |

McDermott Will & Emery increased its revenue for the third straight year, while shrinking its head count. Last year, it brought in $900 million, up 2.2 percent from the year before; revenue per lawyer rose 4 percent, to $900,000. Profits per partner dropped slightly by 1 percent, to $1.53 million.

Skadden Once Again Snags Top Spot in Branding Survey

By MP McQueen |

Although Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom landed at the top of research firm Acritas' annual survey measuring the strength of U.S. law firm brands for the fourth consecutive year, its rivals are closing in.

The Churn

Polsinelli's Super Bowl Shuffle, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

Polsinelli, one of the Am Law 100's fastest-growing firms, churns through its partnership; Alston & Bird adds eight in Dallas; Freshfields hires again in New York; a Skadden practice leader goes in-house; and other notable hires from throughout The Am Law 200.

Dealmakers of the Week: Ryan Maierson and Debbie Yee of Latham & Watkins

By Jennifer Henderson |

Maierson and Yee advised Energy Transfer Partners in its $18 billion merger with Regency Energy Partners.

The Am Law 100, the Early Numbers: Dorsey & Whitney Records Most Profitable Year

By Nell Gluckman |

Despite a management change and the defection of three practice group leaders and other top partners, Dorsey & Whitney reported a 3.8 percent increase in gross revenue in 2014, to $338.5 million, while profits per partner and revenue also improved.

Applying to Top Law Schools Disserved Many in 2014

By Matt Leichter |

Law school applicants gunning for top schools wasted a lot of effort last year.

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.

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.

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.

Chadbourne Opens New Office in Johannesburg

By Julie Triedman |

Chadbourne & Parke will open the South African outpost on Feb. 2, to be headed by Lido Fontana, a former project finance partner from one of the country's top corporate firms.

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.

Meet the Lawyer Who's Giving Dershowitz Hell

By Vivia Chen |

Who's Paul Cassell? And why is he alleging all those awful things about the Harvard law legend?

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.

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.

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.