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Wake Up Call: Paul Hastings Joins Spring Bonus Competition

March 26, 2021, 11:55 AM

In today’s column, a former Big Law global managing partner joined the board of legal tech company Factor; U.S. News & World Report said it’s removing a controversial diversity ranking from its law school rankings set to be released March 30, after criticism from law school deans; the University of Southern California has agreed to pay over $1.1 billion to settle claims of hundreds of women accusing a former campus gynecologist of sex assault.

  • Leading off, Paul Hastings said Thursday it will pay associates special bonuses of up to $64,000, depending on year of seniority, matching the bonus scale set by Davis Polk & Wardwell earlier this week. It’s the latest of several other firms to match Davis Polk, which largely beat the mark set by Willkie, Farr & Gallagher last week, of up to $40,000 based on seniority. The firms have all said they will pay out bonuses in spring and fall installments. (Above the Law)
  • Former Allen & Overy global managing partner Andrew Ballheimer joined the board of process-focused legal tech company Factor and also made a small investment in the company. Ballheimer told Artificial Lawyer that “old law and NewLaw operate in two different worlds and I can play the role of a bridge between these.” He headed A&O during its aborted merger talks in 2019 with O’Melveny & Myers. After leaving A&O in October 2020, he joined U.S.-headquartered international public relations and communications firm Teneo as a senior adviser. (Artificial Lawyer)
  • The University of Southern California has agreed to pay over $1.1 billion to settle claims of hundreds of women who were patients of a campus gynecologist awaiting trial on sex assault charges, according to a report calling the settlement a “record for collegiate sex abuse.” (Los Angeles Times via Yahoo!News)
  • Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson’s 2020 gross revenues of $780.3 million were up 0.6% from 2019, as the pandemic hit its real estate, M&A and private equity practices. The firm’s profits per equity partner shrank 4.4%, to $3.62 million, reflecting a gain of 12 equity partners during the year. (American Lawyer)
  • An energy industry slowdown hit Texas-based Thompson & Knight’s 2020 gross revenues, which tumbled 10.5% to $195.1 million, while its profits per equity partner plunged 15.1% to $906,000. (Texas Lawyer)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • In another sign that President Joe Biden intends to aggressively go after tech giants, Politico reports his administration is “vetting” antitrust specialist Jonathan Sallet—who among other things was Federal Communications Commission general counsel under the Obama administration—to be either Federal Trade Commission chair or the Justice Department’s top antitrust lawyer. Sallet was earlier an antitrust partner at Steptoe & Johnson LLP and O’Melveny & Myers; Harvard Law professor and vice dean John Coates, now at the Securities and Exchange Commission as acting director of the division of corporation finance, reported in a mandatory ethics disclosure that he earned more than $2.5 million in law school income and consulting fees from financial firms and major U.S. companies in 2020. Coates earlier in his career spent nine years as a partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. (National Law Journal)
  • Public finance lawyer Lila G. Roomberg, who became the first female partner and first Jewish partner at Ballard, Spahr, Andrews & Ingersol in 1971, died at age 93. She was known as a mentor and fierce advocate for women’s rights, this report says. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Laterals, Moves, In-House

  • Kirkland & Ellis’s energy-infrastructure group, which last month added a Skadden partner, is now getting tax and renewables lawyer Michael Masri in New York as a partner, from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe; In Philadelphia, FisherBroyles grabbed environment and energy lawyer Christopher W. Boyle as a partner. He arrives after over 25 years at Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath, where he was chair of the environment and energy practice group; McGuireWoods got energy-focused worklaw litigator Jason Huebinger as a partner in Houston. He arrives from Holland & Knight. (McGuireWoods.com)
  • Neurological and cardio therapy tech company ClearPoint Neuro, Inc. said biotech in-house veteran Ellisa Cholapranee will join the company as its general counsel on April 5. Cholapranee arrives most recently from Philips, where she was San Diego-based senior counsel for the cardiovascular devices division. (Yahoo!finance)

Legal Education

  • U.S. News & World Report Thursday said it’s removing a controversial diversity ranking from its upcoming law school rankings package that is set to be released March 30, after getting a letter from deans of 162 law schools expressing concerns about it. (Law.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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