Business & Practice

Wake Up Call: 5 Firms Advise as Walgreens Sells Pharma Unit

Jan. 7, 2021, 2:06 PM

In today’s column, U.S. attorneys across the country condemned the violence by pro-Trump protesters in the U.S. Capitol yesterday; Coca-Cola hired a former Boeing GC to advise it in its $3.4 billion tax fight; Texas litigators said courts could clog with pandemic-related litigation this year; as corporate legal department budgets shrink, Epic’s legal tech rivals may follow its lead in starting new in-house staffing services.

  • Leading off, Cravath, Swaine & Moore, Hogan Lovells, and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius are advising AmerisourceBergen Corp. on its $6.5 billion deal to buy Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.’s pharmaceutical wholesale businesses. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Baker McKenzie are advising Walgreens Boots Alliance. (Bloomberg News via BLAW)
  • Coca-Cola Co., facing a multibillion-dollar tax fight with the IRS, has brought on retired Boeing general counsel Michael Luttig for help. Luttig is a former federal judge with deep connections in the judiciary and government. (BLAW)
  • With corporate legal department budgets shrinking, last week’s launch of a legal staffing business by Epiq, an e-discovery services provider, may spur other legal vendors to make similar moves. (Corporate Counsel)
  • Many firms that advise on capital markets deals had big years in 2020, and that could power a recent trend of big, rich firms investing in talented lawyers to bolster their leading positions. (BLAW)
  • Texas litigators said the pandemic could clog courts with disputes over employment, contracts, insurance coverage, and bankruptcies. (Texas Lawyer)
  • Meanwhile, a Manhattan federal district court extended its delay of jury trials through Feb. 12. (New York Law Journal)
  • Because of the pandemic, first-year associates are up against many challenges. (American Lawyer)
  • On a more positive note, here’s Above the Law’s latest updated scorecard for Big Law firms’ year-end and special bonuses for 2020. (Above the Law)

Biden Transition, Election Litigation

  • U.S. attorneys in several states condemned the violence by pro-Trump protesters who stormed the U.S. Capitol yesterday to try stop the electoral college count. (ABCNews.co.com) (The DCLine.org)
  • The Attorney General for the District of Columbia, Karl Racine, called on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office. (CNN)
  • Lawyers and legal officials reacted on Twitter, many accusing President Trump and some of his enablers of inciting the violence. (Above the Law)
  • President-elect Joe Biden picked Merrick Garland, the federal judge who never got a confirmation hearing as Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee five years ago, as his choice for attorney general. (Bloomberg News via BLAW)
  • Detroit officials argued in a court filing that former Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell should lose her Michigan license to practice law as punishment for pursuing frivolous litigation to overturn Biden’s victory. (Crain’s Detroit Business)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Sullivan & Cromwell named litigator Robert J. Giuffra Jr. and corporate attorney Scott D. Miller as vice chairs. (BLAW)
  • Sidley Austin got hired 33 times last year to defend companies against activist investors, more than any other firm, new Bloomberg data show. (BLAW)
  • Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton had to hire “costly” outside counsel for the state’s antitrust lawsuit against Google, because most of his staff lawyers had left after accusing him of corruption, a Texas Tribune report says. (Texas Tribune via KXXV.com)
  • A Florida attorney who died in 2019 was disbarred in 2020 for not answering the State Bar. (MiamiHerald.com)
  • ABA Journal interviewed the American Bar Association’s new general counsel, Annaliese Fleming, (ABAJournal)

Laterals, Moves

  • The recently resigned U.S. Attorney for Georgia’s Middle District, Charlie Peeler, is joining Troutman Pepper’s white collar practice as a partner in Atlanta. (Troutman.com)
  • Fenwick & West said it’s getting back 25-year veteran litigator Brian Buckley, who recently left his Amazon.com Inc. associate general counsel job to rejoin the firm in Seattle as a partner. (Fenwick.com)
  • K&L Gates added litigator Helen B. Kim in Los Angeles as a partner in its securities and transactional litigation practice. She joins from Thompson Coburn, where she served as vice co-chair of the business litigation practice group. According to her LinkedIn profile, she’s previously been a partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman and BakerHostetler. (KLGates.com)
  • K&L Gates also added litigator Barthélemy Cousin as a partner in Paris. He joins from Stephenson Harwood LLP, where he founded and led the dispute resolution practice. According to his LinkedIn profile, he earlier spent 13 years at Norton Rose Fulbright, including as a partner. (KLGates.com)
  • King & Spalding snagged Seyfarth Shaw’s executive compensation group leader Jake Downing as a partner in Chicago for its global human capital and compliance practice. (KSLaw.com)
  • Also in Chicago, Perkins Coie grabbed Baker & McKenzie worklaw partner Arthur Rooney as a partner. Rooney was previously a partner at Seyfarth. (PerkinsCoie.com)
  • Reed Smith brought in Texas state tax specialist Danielle Ahlrich in Austin. She was formerly a name partner at Martens, Todd, Leonard & Ahlrich. Earlier in her career, she was a staff attorney at the Texas Department of Insurance. (ReedSmith.com)
  • Jones Walker hired veteran trial lawyer Dan Cogdell, as a partner in Houston. He’s joined by white collar/civil litigation associate Nicholas Norris, who worked with him at Cogdell’s law boutique and briefly at Squire Patton Boggs. (JonesWalker.com)
  • FisherBroyles got corporate lawyer Ahpaly Coradin in Miami as a partner. (FisherBroyles.com)
  • Davis Wright Tremaine added satellite and telecom lawyer Lafayette Greenfield as a partner in Washington. He was previously an associate a Milbank. (DWT.com)
  • New England-based Hinckley Allen got eight trial lawyers from Barrett & Singal in Boston, including that firm’s general counsel and the co-chairs of its litigation group and research misconduct group. (HinckleyAllen.com)


  • Power and gas company FirstEnergy Corp. hired veteran industry in-house leader Hyun Park as its chief legal officer as the company faces a federal bribery investigation and related shareholder lawsuits. Natural gas company CNX Resources Corp. also hired a new legal chief. (BLAW)
  • Apple Inc. General Counsel Katherine “Kate” Adams received a total compensation package of more than $26.4 million from Apple in 2020. (BLAW)

Promotions Effective Jan. 1, 2021


  • Legal tech company Relativity said it acquired New Jersey-based data management software company VerQu. (Legaltech News)

Legal Education

  • Blank Rome said white collar defense & investigations partner Paul H. Tzur will teach a course on internal corporate investigations at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law in Chicago. (BlankRome.com)

To contact the correspondent on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at rMitchell@correspondent.bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com; Darren Bowman at dbowman@bloomberglaw.com

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