Author Archives: Blake Edwards

A general view of atmosphere at Western Digital's TV Live Hub Launch on October 27, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/WireImage)

A Year Ago, This Chief Legal Officer Was a GC. What’s Changed?

A Year Ago, This Chief Legal Officer Was a GC. What’s Changed?

Michael Ray has been the top lawyer at hard disk manufacturer Western Digital Corporation since 2010, but in November of last year Ray got a promotion of sorts: from general counsel to chief legal officer. What’s changed? Mainly his perspective, Ray said, explaining that his number one job is still to provide “excellence in terms

Photographer: Goh Seng Chong /Bloomberg

Western Digital Lawyer Says Firms Risk Losing Work Over Associate Salaries

Elevated first-year associate salaries seem to be the new normal at top law firms, but Michael Ray, Chief Legal Officer of Western Digital Corporation, thinks the new compensation schemes are “largely unsustainable.” “First-year lawyers, junior lawyers — when they’re just out of law school, there is a limit, I think, to how much value they can

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S&P Global Hires New GC, and Other Moves

The market intelligence company S&P Global announced Tuesday it hired Steve Kemps as its executive vice president and general counsel. Kemps will report to the CEO, and will also serve on the operating committee. He was not available for comment. In April, the company rebranded and shed its former name McGraw Hill.  In a letter to shareholders, CEO Douglas

Photographer: Konrad Fiedler/Bloomberg

Buchalter Nemer Adds New Auto Group Head in LA

Buchalter Nemer has hired Eric Kennedy to chair its automotive industry practice in Los Angeles, the firm announced on Friday. Previously, Kennedy was a partner at Payne & Fears, a regional law firm headquartered in Orange County. “The automotive industry is undergoing a remarkable transformation,” Kennedy said in a press release. He added, “With more and more companies

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One of the Army’s First Female Combat Engineers is a Big Law Lawyer

Being a lawyer can be stressful, but maybe not quite as stressful as measuring out appropriate amounts of C-4 explosives or cutting concertina wire so an infantry unit can advance in a combat zone. Alyssa Dowse is the rare person who could compare the two. During the week, Dowse is an attorney in the Milwaukee office

Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

In-House Lawyers Make More, But Not Like Associates

Salaries for in-house attorneys are increasing by more than four percent annually, but almost half are still unhappy with what they’re being paid, according to a survey released this week. Although the survey focused on trends in legal department compensation, it also left room for in-house attorneys to compare themselves to firm lawyers by asking them to rate their pay

An employee chooses an item from the racking at the Inc. fulfillment center in Hemel Hempstead, U.K., on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Amazon Hires ‘Antitrust Guru’ Seth Bloom

With regulators slapping down mergers left and right, it’s not easy these days being a giant multinational corporation interested in getting, you know, giant-er. In the current climate, it makes sense that Amazon, a perennial punching bag for antitrust advocates, has hired a big gun to help with lobbying efforts. According to a report in Politico on Tuesday, the

Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore's prime minster, right, and U.S. President Barack Obama are reflected in a mirror as they participate in a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016. The occasion marks first official visit by a Singapore prime minister since 1985. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Law Firms Not Betting on Obama’s TPP Push

Even as both people vying to be his successor oppose it, President Obama is preparing a final push in Congress to get the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, or TPP, ratified by year’s end. On Monday, lawyers — possible beneficiaries of such a deal — expressed doubts his efforts will be successful. Scott Lincicome, who’s of counsel at White & Case and lectures on

Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

The Juris Masters Program: Natural Evolution or Stop-Gap for Struggling Law Schools?

It’s not a secret anymore: an increasingly popular way for law schools to boost revenues amid falling JD application numbers is to get students in the door for a masters program. But while the master of laws degree, or LLM, has long been popular for tax experts or foreign students, a more recent innovation — a

Photographer: Emile Wamsteker/Bloomberg News.

What Happens When a CEO and a GC Fall In Love?

When Fannie Mae CEO Timothy Mayopoulos and Fifth Third Bancorp chief legal officer Heather Russell began dating earlier this year, both executives revealed the relationship to their respective employers. The ramifications for the two have been starkly different. While Mayopoulos remains in charge of the nation’s largest mortgage lender — indeed, the company has backed him publicly, arguing he followed company