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Wake Up Call: Biden DHS Pick Discloses Corporate Clients

Jan. 8, 2021, 1:59 PM

In today’s column, Boeing was represented by Kirkland & Ellis and McGuireWoods in its $2.5 billion settlement of criminal fraud charges related to its ill-fated 737 Max aircraft; Facebook’s new special investigations director played a key role in the DOJ’s multibillion dollar 1MDB settlement with Goldman Sachs; a second Big Law partner has lost his job because he was on President Trump’s infamous call trying to get Georgia’s secretary of state to change the state’s election results.

  • Leading off, President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Homeland Security Department, WilmerHale partner Alejandro Mayorkas, made over $3.3 million over the past two years as a corporate advocate for companies such as Airbnb, Northrop Grumman, T-Mobile and Uber, according to a newly filed disclosure. The disclosures could complicate Mayorkas’ Senate confirmation hearings, according to a report. (Politico)
  • Boeing Co. is represented by Kirkland & Ellis and McGuireWoods in a federal fraud case, one in which the company has agreed to pay more than $2.5 billion as part of a deferred prosecution agreement. (National Law Journal) The criminal charge in the case stemmed from Boeing’s 737 Max, the ill-fated jet model involved in two fatal crashes that killed 346 people. (Bloomberg News via BLAW)
  • Facebook Inc.’s new director of special investigations, Woo S. Lee, was most recently at the Justice Department as a deputy chief, international unit, in the money laundering and asset recovery section. In that job he contributed to the government’s multi-billion dollar foreign corruption settlement with Goldman Sachs in the 1MDB scandal, this report says. (Business Insider)
  • Big Law litigators told Law.com they are expecting Covid-19 to continue to have a big impact on challenges and opportunities in 2021. (Law.com)
  • Cadwalader’s year-end bonus announcement came at an awkward time and didn’t include special bonuses. (Above the Law)

Biden Transition, Election Litigation

  • President-elect Biden picked O’Melveny & Myers partner Lisa Monaco to be deputy attorney general. She was a Homeland Security adviser to former President Obama. (Masslive.com) (OMM.com)
  • DC Circuit Judge Merrick Garland, Biden’s pick for attorney general, pledged to restore independence to the Justice Department. (BLAW)
  • Fox Rothschild said partner Alex B. Kaufman has left the firm, following news that he was on the call in which President Trump pressured Georgia’s secretary of state to “find” votes to flip the presidential election result in his favor. (Above the Law) (Philadelphia Inquirer)
  • Citing Trump’s comments that helped spur a mob that invaded the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, Crowell & Moring called for Trump’s removal from office. It urged other large firms to make the same demand. (BLAW)
  • Goosehead Insurance fired an associate general counsel after he appeared to participate in Wednesday’s breach of the U.S. Capitol and livestreamed video of his presence at the event. (BLAW)
  • Trump is said to be asking about the ability to pardon himself. (CNN) (U.S. News & World Report)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Mergermarket’s recent 2020 mergers and acquisitions data disagrees somewhat with the findings of rival financial data firm Refinitiv, in particular regarding which firms were the top for deal value rankings. (American Lawyer)
  • Dallas-based litigation boutique McKool Smith said it is not changing its strategy or focus despite losing several lawyers already this year. (Texas Lawyer)
  • A once-powerful Chicago attorney now facing criminal charges related to sexual assault and abuse allegations lost his Illinois law license. (Chicago.CBSlocal.com)

Laterals, Moves

  • King & Spalding got back FDA and life sciences partner Marisa Maleck in Washington. She clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas early in her career and returns to the firm after about seven months in-house at electronic cigarette maker Juul Labs, Inc. (KSLaw.com) (LinkedIn.com)
  • Willkie Farr & Gallagher got Latham & Watkins private equity lawyer Jesse Myers as a partner in Houston. He focuses on transactions with an emphasis on energy projects. (Willkie.com)
  • Jenner & Block recruited Washington-based congressional investigations lawyer Joshua Riley as partner. He’s the fifth Boies Schiller & Flexner partner to join Jenner & Block since last year. (BLAW)
  • Sidley Austin said Fenwick & West corporate and international tax lawyer Idan Netser and transactional lawyer Andrew Harper joined the firm in Palo Alto, California, as members of its emerging companies and venture capital practice. Netser also joined Sidley’s tax practice. (Sidley.com)
  • Davis Wright Tremaine added health care regulatory attorney Kathryn Edgerton in Los Angeles as counsel. She advises addiction treatment and telemedicine providers. Arriving from Nelson Hardiman, she rejoins three colleagues who came over from that firm last year. (DWT.com)
  • Plaintiffs’ firm Grant & Eisenhofer added securities class action lawyer Barbara Hart as a director and executive committee member in New York. She was previously president and CEO of trial firm Lowey Dannenberg. Mass torts litigator Sindhu Daniel joined Grant & Eisenhofer as director in Wilmington, Delaware, in September 2020. (GELaw.com)
  • Snell & Wilmer hired former biotech general counsel Sarah Hibbard as an associate in San Diego. (SWLaw.com)
  • Carlton Fields added insurance industry lawyer Alex M. Bein as an associate in New York. According to his LinkedIn profile, he was previously at Clyde and Co. (CarltonFields.com)
  • Two former Pennsylvania federal prosecutors joined McNees Wallace & Nurick to lead its litigation and white collar defense and internal investigations practice groups. (PennLive.com)

In-House

  • Online education company Noodle hired an university in-house leader, diversity and inclusion advocate Laura Hertzog, as its first general counsel. (Corporate Counsel)

Promotions

Technology

  • Law firm business intelligence and financial analytics company Iridium Technology said it acquired timekeeping company Smart Time Apps. (Legal Intelligencer)

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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